The Comm Bank’s new chief executive Ralph Norris has vowed to adopt a more aggressive growth strategy, including expansion offshore, as part of his plan to out-perform his rivals and deliver ongoing annual double-digit earnings, reports the Fin Review. Norris’s appointment is, on paper, superb, says the FinReview‘s Chanticleer, but he’s set the benchmark very high – targeting double-digit earnings growth.

Norris’s most difficult task will be to implement a new frontier in cost-cutting by outsourcing call centres and processing functions to low-cost countries like the Philippines, says Alan Kohler in the Smage. The challenge for all of the banks will be to bring this off without causing a riot back home.

Welcome to a new era of Australian chief executives, says Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian, a new breed who must mobilise technology-driven, production-oriented companies to lift market share by wooing customers.

So what is it about Australia’s major corporations and succession planning? asks Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. Despite all the rhetoric, when it comes to the crunch it seems outsiders get the inside running when it comes to the top jobs.

News Corp has satisfied the market’s desire for the group to embark on capital management measures with its US$3 billion share buy-back program, says Bryan Frith in The Oz, but has left it up in the air as to its negotiations with John Malone’s Liberty Media.

The Age reports that Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane has moved to stub out market speculation that the economy has stalled, instead suggesting Australia was experiencing an orderly slowdown after 14 consecutive years of growth.

The Fin Review reports that the ATO will widen its crackdown on offshore tax evasion, with up to 100 additional wealthy investors to be investigated and four national law firms confirming they had been served with warrants. Also in the AFR, Former One.Tel director Jodee Rich and the corporate regulator will go to court again after the failure of a compulsory mediation hearing last week.

On Wall Street, US stocks ended overnight amid favourable inflation data and a rally in shares of General Motors after a report said the car maker was actively looking to cut its health-care costs. The Dow Jones closed up 25 points at 10,547 – MarketWatch has a full report here.