Movings/Shakings: 1 July

Back to school

After departing his role as chief executive of M&C Saatchi in August last year, Darryn Melrose has spent a bit of time consulting. But now he’s back on someone else’s payroll after being chosen as the new chief executive of Media Design School. He replaces Frances Valintine, who will assume a “strategic visionary position” as chair of the newly established Media Design School Strategic Advisory Board​. 

Melrose brings more than 15 years of experience in the digital and mobile economy to the role and during his tenure as chief executive of M&C Saatchi, he worked with companies such as APN Online, Education New Zealand, Jetstar, Maori Television, Orcon, and Qantas. Prior to this, Melrose was the chief executive of AIM Proximity, the leading digital and direct marketing company in New Zealand.

“We are pleased to have Darryn join Media Design School as its new chief executive,” says Vivian Sanchez, chief executive of Laureate Art, Architecture & Design Education, the owners of the school. “Darryn is the perfect candidate to lead Media Design School in its next stage of development. His commitment to our mission, innovative approach to leading strategic expansions and understanding of the global digital space will have a significant impact on the future of Media Design School.”

Melrose believes Media Design School has the reputation, quality and industry connections to be the number one digital design institution in the world.

“Our students, faculty, staff and alumni make Media Design School a formidable force in higher education—not just in New Zealand, but worldwide,” he says. “I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated, world-class team of people here and throughout the Laureate International Universities network, and to building on our outstanding achievements.”

Four to the floor

Colenso has appointed four new senior staff in the account management team—three new and one replacement. 

The first major hire is Sarah Williams, who has joined as the business director on the BNZ account. Previously, she headed up the Telecom account for Saatchi & Saatchi and has also spent time at Whybin/TBWA and DDB where she worked with brands including ASB and 2 Degrees. She replaces Paul WIlson, who is moving to Saatchi & Saatchi to work on Toyota and DB.

“It’s brave, category breaking and I think they (BNZ) are really starting to behave quite differently as an organisation as a result,” she says. 

Of the new staff, Jillian Stanton will be working alongside Williams as group account director on the BNZ account. With an extensive background in FMCG marketing, she has spent time at DDB, Saatchi’s, and most recently at .99 where she worked on New World.

Sarah Barrett has joined Colenso as part of the Proximity team. She’s come from Special and she’ll be the senior account director on the trans-Tasman Visa business. She is a specialist in delivering creative brand communications via digital and social channels and her digital skills were honed in Australia and at London-based brand and social agency Birddog Ltd.  

Victoria Graves is the fourth senior account management hire, joining from DDB. She has also spent time at .99 and agencies in Christchurch and the UK. She will be looking after Burger King and a number of Fonterra brands including Tip Top, Mainland and Anchor as a group account director. 

“Finding great talent is one of the biggest hurdles any agency leader in our industry faces and it’s a lot tougher in small markets,” says Nick Garrett, Colenso’s managing director. “So I’m chuffed to find four great people that will add loads of value to the agency professionally and culturally.”

From IT press to IT Pro

Ex-Computerworld editor Sarah Putt has joined The Institute of IT Professionals, New Zealand’s largest IT representative body, as communications and policy lead to help drive communication, publications and policy research. 

Putt finished as editor of Computerworld following Fairfax Business Media’s recent decision to discontinue publishing the magazine and IITP chief executive Paul Matthews says her new role is focused on strengthening the IT Profession’s communications and voice, both internally and with external stakeholders.

“Sarah Putt is well known to those in IT and has a great grasp of the issues that are important to IT professionals,” he says. “Expanding our team in this space will ensure the institute continues to support and drive thought leadership within the IT profession.”

As part of the new role, Putt will become editor of the Newsline ePublication (anyone can receive the free publication via email by signing up at www.iitp.org.nz/subscribe). It is read by thousands of IT professionals each week and provides topical news, views and interviews with and by IT experts, leaders and others of interest to IT professionals.

“The publication will be expanded to almost daily commentary with a larger online presence. However, it will continue to focus on opinion and expert comment rather than just news”, Matthews says. ” … The new role also includes other activities to ensure the profession’s voice is heard throughout the IT industry, government, academia and the public at large. The Institute will announce further plans over the next few months.”

Matthews says the Institute has a responsibility to drive thought leadership and inform members, but it does not exist to “compete or replicate the excellent news publications that report on the IT news of the day”. 

“We continue to support and work with all publications in this space. This will not change in the slightest,” he says.

Icing on the cake

Icebreaker is re-aligning its New Zealand and Australian businesses into one growth oriented multi-channel business. The NZ Herald reports Rob Fyfe is joining as chairman later in the year. And Greg Smith has been appointed to head up the new business as general manager. 

“We are proud that New Zealand is our home market. It’s where Icebreaker was born and it’s where we first created the merino outdoor category,” says Jeremy Moon, founder and chief executive. “To maintain our leadership and accelerate our growth here and in Australia we have recognised the need to re-design the business for our next wave of success.”

Smith is an experienced retail expert with more than 21 years in leadership roles at Michael Hill International. Since beginning his career there he has held multi-faceted roles including selling, store management, regional and general management of the public company. His most recent role was general manager New Zealand.

“Icebreaker is an exceptional brand with great growth potential in New Zealand and Australia, and I am excited to be a part of the team and to help lead it to the next levels using the absolute best, sustainable product and resources from New Zealand,” he says. “I believe that if you are going to give something a go you might as well go all out to be the very best.” 

Smith will be responsible for strategically developing and implementing Icebreaker’s integrated wholesale, retail and ecommerce growth strategy in both New Zealand and Australia. He will be based from Icebreaker’s new Auckland office, which opens in July 2013.

Icebreaker also announced that Nicola Simpson is joining the Icebreaker leadership team as the new general manager of people and performance. She will be involved in Icebreaker’s global expansion and growth and will be also be based in the new Auckland office.

Simpson is an experienced HR professional with more than 14 years in public and private sector Australasian businesses in organisational development, change management and strategic HR management roles working alongside senior executives to develop people strategies and enhance business performance. She has spent the last two years as the owner and operator of a successful restaurant in Wanaka as she had a break from corporate life.

“Aligning people and performance is critical to Icebreaker’s growth strategy and we’re very excited to have Nicola bring her deep human resources experience to our global team,” says Moon. “As we step up to the next level, it’s all about the people we attract to our mission of bringing New Zealand merino to the outdoor market, and how we engage as a team to deliver an outstanding experience for our customers.”

Senatorial appointments

Trans-Tasman communications consultancy SenateSHJ has announced five new appointments in its Auckland and Wellington offices.

In Wellington: 

Emily Watt has been promoted to associate partner. She supports a range of public and private sector organisations including BP New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries, PEW, NZ on Air and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She provides strategic communications and corporate public relations advice, and is a media relations expert.

Joe Stockman is a media relations, content creation and social media specialist. His creative work has been in the pages of Idealog and on the cover of Newsweek, and he has won several Aotearoa Student Press Association awards for his writing.

Marg Joiner is a public policy specialist, with experience in mediation and conflict resolution. Before joining SenateSHJ, she was a policy analyst at the Office of Treaty Settlements, supporting the Crown to negotiate and successfully conclude historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements with Māori groups across New Zealand.

In Auckland:

Carolyn Hobson specialises in corporate communications, reputation management, crisis and issues management, and corporate social responsibility. She has extensive experience in pharmaceutical and health care communications.

Marie Winfield brings ten years’ experience as a senior communications advisor for Housing New Zealand Corporation, where she developed specialist skills in reputation and issues management, corporate affairs, and media management. A former newspaper journalist, she has also worked in communications roles for the former Wellington Regional Council and AXA New Zealand. 


Tourism Australia has appointed Chris Ingram to the position of partnership manager New Zealand. 

Reporting to general manager, New Zealand, Jenny Aitken, Ingram replaces Amanda Hall in what is a redefined position that Aitken says “better meets the commercial and strategic needs of the region”. 

Aitken says the two key areas Ingram will manage are distribution partnerships, stakeholder relations and in delivering consumer strategies and plans. The second area is the business events area, where he will be charged with increasing the conversion of meetings, conference and incentives into Australia.

Ingram has extensive background in the tourism sector with previous sales and marketing positions including those with AAT Kings, Cook Islands Tourism and most recently the New Zealand office of Gold Coast Tourism.

Gaultward bound

Rachel Dewhurst is leaving her role as publicist with Penguin for a new position as Simon Gault’s brand manager.

About Author

Comments are closed.