Position: CEO, Field: Natural healthcare, Place of work: Comvita, Paengaroa (2005-2016)
Brett is the CEO of Comvita and is the driver behind the vision for the company. The key aspects to the job that Brett enjoys the most include organisational development and helping people to align around the vision for the future of the company.
We’re selling a slice of nature…
“It is essential to get the right people in the right roles and ensure that the organisation is equipped to deal with the massive growth we are currently undergoing,” says Brett.
Brett is also the guardian of the Comvita brand and the company’s corporate values of respect, innovation, sustainability, and discovery. This involves effectively communicating company values to staff and consumers. For Comvita staff this means ensuring that they live the values in their working environment and beyond.
Brett also ensures that the products Comvita creates, the quality of these products, and what they say to consumers are aligned to Comvita’s values.
Like many young boys growing up in the Waikato, Brett’s working life started on a dairy farm. His father owned a dairy farm where Brett helped out and developed a strong work ethic.
“Growing up on a dairy farm meant I was used to working hard and was prepared to give anything a go,” said Brett.
Brett’s father was also an entrepreneur who bought up companies, managed them and changed them.
This inspired Brett to aspire to a career in management and the self-belief that he could tackle anything.
As a young man he was highly ambitious and aspired to a career in management.
Brett studied food technology at Massey Univesity then went on to do an MBA in Lausanne, Switzerland – a good spot for a keen skier.
His career started in the dairy industry as a trainee for the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company, now known as Fonterra.
He then moved to work for Alfa Laval, a food processing equipment supply company based in Hamilton. His first taste of management came when he was transferred to the UK and gained experience of project management.
“I really enjoyed project management because of its diversity and the challenge of coping with rapid evolution,” said Brett.
While Brett was in the UK, Alfa Laval was acquired by food packaging company Tetra Pak. He led the start up of a company developing Tetra Pak’s eastern Mediterranean markets in 1998. He held other positions in the UK and Europe.
In Sept 2005, he was appointed CEO of Comvita. Brett finished his role as CEO in March 2016. Read about his career with Comvita in the news article Comvita CEO stepping down.
Brett is very sporty. He is a keen snow skier and enjoyed trying out the ski fields in Switzerland while studying there.
He also enjoys mountain biking with his children and can regularly be seen pedalling through the Redwoods at Rotorua. Brett’s favourite way to spend his spare time is having fun with his children.
His rugby loyalties lay with Waikato. He loves food and eating out, but isn’t so hot at cooking.
This article was based on information current in 2007 and updated in 2016.