Today, Tourism New Zealand announced the resignation of CEO Kevin Bowler, who will move to Frucor to be its New Zealand CEO.
Bowler, who spent almost seven years leading Tourism New Zealand (starting in 2010), will leave the organisation on 28 October and will begin his new role in early November.
Prior to his position with Tourism New Zealand, Kevin was CEO of Yahoo and before that general manager consumer marketing for Telecom (now Spark).
Tourism New Zealand Chair Kerry Prendergast said in a release Bowler transformed Tourism New Zealand to be a digitally led and integrated marketing communications business with a clear mission and values shared by all its staff.
“During his tenure, Kevin has reinvigorated the way the country is marketed, narrowing the organisation’s focus to people already ‘actively considering’ New Zealand and delivering significant value to the economy through the use of targeted digital media channels,” he said.
“He and his team have subsequently presided over some of the most extraordinary growth the industry has ever seen with visitor spend rising 25 percent to $10.2 billion in the past twelve months alone.”
He said Bowler joined Tourism New Zealand in January 2010 and led the organisation and industry through the recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes.
“His time at Tourism New Zealand has been marked by the remarkable success of leveraging international attention gained from the Rugby World Cup and The Hobbit films; the inspiring approach to using international ambassadors in our promotion; expansion into new markets and sectors, and significant partnerships with aviation and digital media partners.”
His tenure ends having just announced James Cameron as the latest in a line of influencers who have thrown their voice behind the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, he said.
Prendergast said the Board would begin the process for replacing Bowler immediately with the first step being the appointment of an executive recruitment agency that will lead the search.
Frucor Group CEO Jonathan Moss welcomed Bowler to the business.
“We were looking for someone with demonstrable leadership skills and a visionary style to lead our New Zealand business through an exciting period as we look to drive change in the beverages industry into the future. Kevin fits the bill perfectly and I’m looking forward to having him on board.”
Bowler said he was particularly attracted to Frucor because of its focus on providing positive choice for consumers.
“I’m looking forward to joining a business with such iconic brands as V, Fresh Up, Just Juice, Pepsi and Gatorade. I’m excited about being a part of a business focused on leading positive change in the beverages industry, helping consumers to make better choices about the beverages they choose.”