Meet the Executive Team


Paul Flynn
BComm, FCA

Managing Director
and Chief Executive Officer

Paul has extensive experience in the mining, infrastructure, construction and energy sectors gained through 20 years as a professional advisor at Ernst & Young. Paul was formerly Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Tinkler Group and was instrumental in the merger of Whitehaven Coal with Aston Resources. Paul joined the Board of Whitehaven on 3 May 2012 and assumed the role of Managing Director and CEO on 27 March 2013. Prior to joining the Tinkler Group, Paul was the managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Sydney office and a member of its Oceania executive team.

As a partner for over eight years, Paul managed many of the firm’s largest mining and energy clients across Australia, Asia, South and North America. Paul has also fulfilled various leadership roles with large corporations on secondment including as the CFO of a top 50 listed company.


Kevin Ball
BComm, CA

Chief Financial Officer

Appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Whitehaven Coal in October 2013, Kevin Ball has over 25 years experience working in the mineral and energy industry across coal, oil and gas and in complex consulting practices.

Kevin was the Commercial Manager at Springvale Coal for a number of years, CFO at the Milestone Group and CFO of Delhi Petroleum. Kevin later gained experience in listed companies in roles that combined finance and operational divisional leadership as the General Manager Finance at Chandler Macleod Group and, as the Group Financial Controller of Environmental Group.

A finance graduate of the University of New South Wales, Kevin is a Chartered Accountant having spent 11 years with Ernst & Young at the commencement of his career predominantly in EY’s natural resources group and has a graduate Diploma in Geoscience (Mineral Economics) from Macquarie University.


Timothy Burt
B.Ec, LLB (Hons) LLM

General Counsel
and Company Secretary

Timothy joined Whitehaven as General Counsel and Company Secretary in July 2009. He has 20 years’ ASX Listed company legal, secretarial and governance experience across a range of industries. Prior to joining Whitehaven, Timothy held senior roles at ASX listed companies Boral Limited, UGL Limited and Australian National Industries Limited. He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.


Brian Cole
BE (Civil-H1), M Eng Science, MBA,
Fellow IE Aust, C P Eng., M AIMM

Executive General Manager
– Project Delivery

Brian has more than 35 years of experience in heavy engineering projects and operations at an executive level in the energy related sector and has been focused on the Maules Creek project and other brownfields capital projects within the Whitehaven portfolio. Most recently Brian managed the construction of the three stages of the third coal terminal in Newcastle for NCIG with a combined capital cost circa $2.8 billion. Brian was appointed Executive General Manager – Project Delivery in June 2012.


Jamie Frankcombe
BE (Mining), MBA (Technology)

Chief Operating Officer

Jamie was appointed Executive General Manager – Operations in February 2013 and his title amended to Chief Operating Officer in June 2018. Jamie was previously Director Operations at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. Prior to that he has had extensive senior experience in coal mine operations and development including as the Chief Operating Officer of PT Adaro Indonesia, Executive General Manager – Americas for Xstrata Coal and General Manager Operations for Xstrata Coal’s Hunter Valley open cut operations.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) from Wollongong University and a Master of Business Administration (Technology) from APESMA Deakin University. Additionally he holds First Class Certificate of Competency qualifications for both the NSW and Queensland coal industry.


Scott Knights
BEcons (Hons)

Executive General Manager
– Marketing and Logistics

Scott was appointed Executive General Manager – Marketing in August 2014. Prior to joining Whitehaven he was Vice President Sales, Marketing and Logistics for Peabody Energy Australia. Scott has over 25 years of experience in a wide range of commercial roles including marketing, sales, logistics, management and business strategy in the commodities sector, working for Peabody Energy, Rio Tinto, PwC and Renison Goldfields Consolidated.


Michael van Maanen
BA (Hons)

Executive General Manager – Corporate and External Affairs

Michael has nearly 20 years of experience working in corporate communications and public policy roles in both the government and private sectors. He was appointed Executive General Manager Corporate and External Affairs in May 2018. Prior to joining Whitehaven, Michael was a founding Partner of Newgate Communications, one of Australia’s largest and most respected strategic communications agencies, and led the firm’s mining and resources practice group. Michael was previously a ministerial adviser in the Howard Government and worked in a range of national security policy roles for the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from the University of Western Australia.