Our Executive Leadership Team
Christine Mikhael - Chief Executive Officer
Christine is a high-performance leader with over 30 years of experience across all facets of real estate. She was inspired to enter the world of real estate by her father, who was in property development, which led her to open and operate her own highly successful agency for many years. Christine was Australia's youngest female real estate principal and managing director.
Christine is a respected industry expert and a highly sought keynote speaker, particularly for her insights on effective leadership, organisational success, and a people-centric approach. These qualities and understandings led her to feature in the book The Modern CEO by Jarrod McGrath.
Christine's passion lies in empowering teams to deliver exceptional real estate experiences, catering to the vast network of offices and teams within the LJ Hooker Group, which serve tens of thousands of consumers each year.
As the CEO of the LJ Hooker Group, Christine is committed to implementing the LJH100 business strategy, which aims to celebrate the company's 100 years of innovation in 2028 while continuing to lead the industry into the next century.
Beyond her corporate accomplishments, Christine values community and giving back. Her commitment originates from her upbringing in a close-knit family, fostering a desire to create opportunities for others. This drive led her to become an ambassador for Vinnie's CEO Sleepout, which she has a personal connection to. Her involvement raises awareness about homelessness and poverty, demonstrating her belief in individual impact and collective compassion.
Simon Heathcote - Chief Financial Officer
Simon joined the executive team as Group Finance Director in March 2019 and became the CFO in May 2019. He is responsible for the finance and compliance functions of the corporate, residential and commercial real estate lines of the group.
Prior to joining LJ Hooker, Simon was the CFO of a private commercial lender. He was Group financial Controller with Guardian Early Learning Group (childcare), and Financial Controller with Archer Capital, a private equity firm. Prior to this, Simon was an audit Senior Manager with Ernst & Young.
Simon brings a wealth of experience to LJ Hooker in all facets of financial management practice and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Governance Institute of Australia.
Ruth Trewhella - Chief Operating Officer
Ruth joined the LJ Hooker Group executive team in January 2018 as Business Improvement Director and became Chief Operating Officer in January 2019. She is responsible for the overarching corporate and franchise operations of the business and its house of brands, including marketing, corporate affairs, customer support, training and events and awards and recognition.
Prior to joining LJ Hooker, Ruth was Head of Customer Success at e-commerce brand RedBalloon. She was Group Manager of True Local (part of the Telstra group) and several other digital businesses within the Sensis group of companies.
Ruth is an innovative leader who brings a wealth of experience in transforming customer experience and business performance. She has extensive experience leading and developing high-performing multi-discipline teams, strategy execution, operational excellence, digital innovation and delivering complex work programs.
Simon Sayegh - Interim Chief Information Officer
Simon joined the LJ Hooker Group in April 2022 as Strategic Technology Consultant and became Interim CIO in September 2022. He is responsible for the end-to-end technology within the business, including strategy, architecture, delivery, development, cyber, data, franchise solutions and operations.
Prior to joining LJ Hooker, Simon held senior leadership roles at Sydney Airport, Vocus, Aon, and Ernst Young across EMEA, Asia, Americas, and Australia across a number of varied businesses leading strategic transformations from design through to implementation.
Simon has a passion for building and leading teams empowering them to be trusted within the business, delivering excellent customer experiences, and outcomes. He has extensive experience creating a strategic approach that will enable the business to achieve its goals and deliver the outcomes through high performance teams, digital transformation, commercial acumen, and project delivery.