NZ CEO Summit 2016


More than 200 CEOs, MDs and Country Managers attended the 2016 edition of the CEO Summit as we shone the light on some of the key issues affecting the leaders of New Zealand  businesses and the environment in which they operate.  

The audience heard a range of perspectives and stories from some of the foremost innovators and trailblazers in business including the roller coaster ride of the CEO, the social license to operate, the need to focus on the intangibles of business and the personalisation of leadership through crisis.  Stefan Preston talked about the absolute necessity to rethink business models to capitalise on the proliferation of the digital world, whilst Steve West and AJ Bertenshaw Co-founders of Serato presented their journey to become the global leader in the provision of high end DJ Software founded from innovation and finding ways to iterate to solve problems whilst keeping the solution very familiar to the customer. 

Liam Dann facilitiated a panel of New Zealand's foremost Directors - Joan Withers, Tony Carter, Rob Campell and  Vaughan Baker who shared their views on “Burning issues for New Zealand" ranging from inequality, wading through complacency versus a quest for quality and the increasing pressure on infrastructure as the main problems facing the country. The day closed with Shay Wright and Audette Exel who delivered passionate and provoking presentations on the multi-bottom line thinking and how business for purpose can thrive whilst addressing the growing issue of inequality in our communities. 

Exceptional feedback was registered among delegates who rated the 2016 Summit as one of the best edition ever run:

  • “I got so much out of the day, I barely slept last night my mind was whirring around so much!”
  • “Inspirational. Such a high standard across the board”
  • “Having personal stories rather than management speak was excellent and refreshing”
  • “Great conference - very inspirational and lots to take back to the office and use”
  • “Revolutionary speakers - how do we clone their spirit across the nation's leadership culture”
  • “Congratulations - this was a meaningful, genuine and helpful event”
  • “Thanks for putting together an inspiring and thought provoking day”

We are delighted each year to create a poignant and important day for New Zealand leaders.  Don’t miss the next edition of the CEO Summit, 2017 dates will be online soon!

Conferenz would like to extend appreciation to our supporting partners and sponsors who assist us to bring this important event to the leaders of New Zealand.


2016 Agenda

8.30 Registration & Coffee
9.00 Opening remarks from the Chair

Jo Brosnahan, Founding Chair, Leadership New Zealand
9.10 Innovation, business design and leadership for breakthrough growth
• The case for innovation and design-thinking
• Where to look for the insights that fuel transformative business design
• A framework for break-through business design
• 6 common barriers to transformation
• One critical insight that leadership teams need to know about technology today

Stefan Preston, Chairman, Spring
9.50 Progressive Partnerships - The Future of Business

Callum Laing, Owner/Investor/Director, Unity Group/Entrevo/Fitness-Buffet
10.30 Facilitated Table Discussions
10.50 Morning break
11.20 The fundamental shift: From commodity to value
• Pāmu: a values-based brand and vision
• The opportunity for New Zealand to create sustainable, high margin product feed the world
• The value of collaborative business models

Steven Carden, CEO, LANDCORP
12.00 Burning issues for New Zealand
Convened by Liam Dann, Business Editor at Large, NZME

A discussion with:
Joan Withers, Chair, Director and Trustee
Tony Carter, Chair of Air New Zealand and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Director of Fletcher Building and ANZ Bank NZ
Rob Campell, Investor & Director
Vaughan Baker, NZ Managing Director, MyRepublic
12.50 Facilitated Table Discussions
1.10 Lunch break
2.00 How innovation can change New Zealand
· Creating the Curve – why NZ innovation is at the heart of who we are and critical to creating success
· Capitalising on doing business the kiwi way – authenticity, honesty and integrity
· Partnering in new markets – finding the platforms that leverage your value proposition
· Solve the problem for established markets but make it familiar
Steve West, Managing Director, Charge Net NZ
AJ Bertenshaw, CEO, Serato
2.40 Leadership and The New Generation CEO
• What makes young kiwi leader successful on the global stage
• What it is to lead an agile company of digital natives
• Harnessing innovation, iteration, technology and social channel
• The new generation of leaders – observations of success

Dale Pfeifer, Founder & CEO, GoodWorld
3.20 Table discussions
3.35 Afternoon tea
4.00 Valuing culture, diversity and environment makes good business sense
• Understanding where we come from and how appreciation of place and people can determine the pathway forward.
• How can Maori and industry work together to grow Aotearoa New Zealand Inc

Shay Wright, Co-founder, Te Whare Hukahuka
4.40 Closing inspirational keynote: The Art of the Possible – Running an investment bank for purpose
• Living the dreams and disasters
• Bridging worlds
• Rethinking business in the future

Audette Exel, Founder and Chair, Adara Group
5.35 The New Zealand CEO Summit Networking Function
Take the opportunity to connect and network with speakers, sponsors and fellow CEOs, MDs, GMs and Country Managers from across all industries over drinks, canapés and jazz. The networking function will directly follow the Summit at The Langham Hotel in Auckland.

2016 Speakers


  • Jo Brosnahan

    Jo Brosnahan

    Founding Chair, Leadership New Zealand

    Jo Brosnahan is an Accredited Director, Chair of Northpower Fibre, Chair of Hunter Downs Development Company and Director of Leaders for Future. She is a member of the NZ Day Trust and the Centre for Brain Research Advisory Board. She was Founding Chair of Leadership New Zealand for a decade, Chair of Landcare Research and has an extensive governance career. She was CEO of the Northland Regional Council and of the Auckland Regional Council.


  • Stefan Preston

    Stefan Preston

    Chairman, Spring

    Renowned for leading the turnaround strategy for Whitcoulls, Pacific Retail Group and Bendon, Stefan is now one of New Zealand’s leading CEOs and active entrepreneurs. Apart from leading his own portfolio he also helps other companies achieve breakthrough outcomes. Stefan won the prestigious Fuji-Xerox Leadership award at the AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards 2015.

  • Steven Carden

    Steven Carden

    CEO, Landcorp Farming

    Before joining Landcorp in August 2013, Steven was General Manager of PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia from 2010. Prior, he worked at McKinsey & Company in New York and Auckland and was General Manager of New Zealand’s first internet retailing company,FlyingPig. He is the founder of the First Foundation, a program that helps talented but financially disadvantaged secondary school student’s successfully complete university through workplace scholarships. Steven is the author of New Zealand Unleashed, and is a Blake medallist. He holds an LLB and BA from the University of Auckland and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Dale Pfeifer

    Dale Pfeifer

    Founder & CEO, GoodWorld

    Dale is changing the way we connect online. Her #donate software, developed to make giving easy on social media, is unleashing the next generation of generosity. A native Kiwi, her company GoodWorld is based in Washington DC. Prior to going to the United States, Dale ran Victoria University’s Center for the Study of Leadership. Her award-winning research took her to Harvard where she applied the theory of Allophilia to Maori leadership.

  • Audette Exel

    Audette Exel

    Founder & Chair, Adara Group

    New Zealand born Audette Exel is a highly successful social entrepreneur who has spent her career doing what everyone said couldn’t be done – bridging the worlds of business and non-profits to assist people living in extreme poverty. After a successful career as a corporate lawyer and banker (including as one of the youngest women ever to run a publically traded bank) Audette made the decision 18 years ago to marry her passions of social justice and business to help people in need. In 1998, she established the Adara Group, a unique ‘business-for-purpose’ model which uses the power of business to improve health and education for women, children and communities in the developing world. Audette will share her purpose, passions and observations around the future of business place in society.

  • Callum Laing

    Callum Laing

    Owner, Investor, Director - Unity Group, Entrevo, Fitness-Buffet

    Callum Laing is partner at the Private Equity company Unity Group. Co-founder and non-exec director of The Marketing Group PLC and CEO of Entrevo Asia. Based in Singapore, NZ born Callum has been starting, building, buying and selling businesses for 20 years, most of it in Asia. He publishes a daily interview with CEO's and Leaders in Asia and is author of the soon to be released book "Progressive Partnerships - The Future of Business". In 2015 he received an 'Outstanding Leadership' award for his services to employee wellness and health.


  • Shay Wright

    Shay Wright

    Co-founder, Te Whare Hukahuka

    Shay is a social entrepreneur on a mission to improve the lives of 10 million indigenous people. After founding the Māori Development unit at The Icehouse, he recently co-founded the fast growing education and leadership enterprise, Te Whare Hukahuka. Te Whare Hukahuka creates learning experiences enabling Māori leaders to grow world class organisations. They have trained more than 500 Māori leaders who collectively serve more than 200,000 whānau – helping them open their minds to new possibilities and gain practical skills. In 2016, Shay was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list for Social Entrepreneurship.


  • Joan Withers

    Joan Withers

    Chair, Director and Trustee

    Joan Withers chairs the Mighty River Power board and the TVNZ board. She is a director of ANZ NZ and of The Treasury Advisory Board. Those titles sit alongside several trusteeships including The Tindall Foundation and Sweet Louise, and 20 years of senior executive experience including as chief executive of Fairfax Media and The Radio Network. In 2015 Joan was named the supreme winner of the Women of Influence awards and Chairperson of the Year at the Deloitte Top 200 Awards.

  • Tony Carter

    Tony Carter

    Chair Air NZ, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare; Director Fletcher Building, ANZ Bank

    Tony Carter is Chairman of Air New Zealand andFisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited, a director of Fletcher Building Limited and ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited and Independent Chairman of Blues LLP. In 1995 he was appointed Chief Executive of Foodstuffs (South Island) Limited and in 2001, was appointed Managing Director of Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited and Managing Director of Foodstuffs (New Zealand) Limited until he retired in December 2010.

  • Rob Campbell

    Rob Campbell

    Investor & Director

    Rob Campbell has over 30 years’ experience as a director and investor. Currently Chair of Tourism Holdings Ltd, Summerset Group Holdings Ltd, G3 Group Ltd, and a director of Precinct Properties NZ Ltd and T&G Global Ltd (Turners & Growers), all listed companies in NZ. Rob is also an investor and director of a number of substantial private companies and is a director of or advisor to a number of private global equity and hedge funds. Rob holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Economic History and Political Science and Masters of Philosophy in Economics.

  • Vaughan Baker

    Vaughan Baker

    NZ Managing Director, MyRepublic

    For over a decade Vaughan Baker has been a powerful advocate for ubiquitous ultra-fast broadband and its potential to transform New Zealand’s economy and way of life. As a founding shareholder and director of Singapore-based ISP MyRepublic, Vaughan takes great pride in leading the New Zealand arm of the company and guiding its expansion into the Asia Pacific region. His vision for MyRepublic is to see it radically shift the performance of the telecommunications industry through driving uptake of fibre connectivity in homes and businesses across the country and the world.


  • Liam Dann

    Liam Dann

    Business Editor at Large, NZME

    Liam Dann has over 20 years’ experience as a journalist, covering business for the past fifteen, including as Business editor for the New Zealand Herald. Liam is one of the country’s most respected business journalists. He has worked in the Banking Sector in London and travelled extensively. His passion is for markets and Economics because they are the engine of the New Zealand economy.


  • AJ Bertenshaw

    AJ Bertenshaw

    CEO, Serato

  • Steve West

    Managing Director, Charge Net NZ

    AJ Bertenshaw and Steve West met at Auckland University, studying honours degrees in Computer Science. Together, they founded Serato in 1998, building what they would later discover could be called a "Tech Startup". The company was built around solving a hard problem in digital audio processing, known as "time-stretching", and the word Serato quickly became well known studio engineers the world over. Then in 2004, Steve and AJ solved another hard problem in audio, and revolutionised the art of DJ by creating Scratch Live, a piece of software and hardware that brought DJs into the world of digital music. Today, AJ continues to find new ways to innovate and solve hard problems in the world of music software as the CEO of Serato, while Steve is focussed on accelerating the trend away from fossil fuel based transportation. Steve is currently building a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout New Zealand as the CEO of Charge.Net.NZ. Both Steve and AJ are passionate about solving the world's problems through innovative thinking, and designing the future consciously.


Interested in sponsorship?

There are some exclusive opportunities to promote your company, and its products and services, at this leading event. Contact the sponsorship team below to request a prospectus or discuss the options, or view more about event sponsorship.