Movings/Shakings: 10 December

Gourdie brings grunt and experience to Designworks board table


Designworks has announced the addition of Alan Gourdie to the group’s board of directors, and he brings over 15 years of top management experience to the table.  

The former CEO of Telecom retail (four years) has also had stints as the managing director of Tiger Beer (one year), the general manager of Asia Pacific Breweries (three years), the global marketing manager of Heineken International (three years) and the general manager of sales and marketing for DB Breweries (three years).  

His new role with Designworks will see him working closely with the group CEO Sven Baker to further build the Australian and New Zealand arms of business, with a specific remit to help accelerate growth in the wider Asia Pacific region.

Alan’s consultancy, AG+A, has been working in a strategic partnership with Designworks on a number of shared client projects over the past year, and he is therefore familiar with the organisation and its aspirations.

“Alan, with his impressive corporate and global experience, brings an essential new ingredient to the mix. We call this ‘Business Design’, and it marks the next phase in the firm’s evolution. It’s the alchemy of business consultancy and design thinking working in harmony to deliver a commercially robust and creatively inspiring plan for growth,” said Baker.

“For me Designworks represents the pinnacle in design thinking and the future of brand building in the region,” said Gourdie. “Brand building is undergoing a fundamental shift, and the Designworks approach of having specialist capabilities with a strategic design overview provides an ideal platform for growth. I’m looking forward to working with the talented Designworks team to really sharpen the offering and future-proof the business.”

Gourdie’s move coincides with a big relocation for Designworks, which has, after 18 years at Queens Arcade, relocated to the New Gallery on Lorne Street. 

Gibson accepts chief executive hat at NZFC and bids farewell to Gibson Group    

Wellington producer Dave Gibson has been named as the next chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC). He replaces Graeme Mason who recently departed to become CEO of Screen Australia.

Gibson, who originally studied to become a teacher, has been working in the film industry since 1974 in a career that culminated in 2012 with him being appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to the film and television industries.   

His career can only be described as eclectic in that it has included every form of filmmaking, from independent shorts to full-length feature films and documentaries. And given this broad range of experience, NZFC chair Patsy Reddy is confident that Gibson will bring a lot to the table when he takes up his new role in January.   

“He has a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience of the New Zealand industry across both film and television which we see as invaluable for the Film Commission, particularly as we seek to encourage the development of sustainable businesses with stronger international reach,” said Reddy.

Dave Gibson is the founder of the The Gibson Group, a Wellington-based production company with a 36-year history of working in film, television and visitor attractions in New Zealand and internationally. Since Gibson will be tied to his new role by a five-year contract, he has initiated plans to sell his shares in the company to four senior staff members: Victoria Spackman, Allan Smith, Brett Tompkins and Bevin Linkhorn.

The process of the sale of shares should be completed by the end of this month, with Dave Gibson formally leaving the company as of 31 December so he can start his new role in January.

“This is a significant step in the history of the business, and the new owners are confident and motivated to build on the company’s reputation for new and engaging viewer and visitor experiences,” says Ms Spackman. “We already have a strong slate of current projects in both production and development across the company’s divisions, and look forward to continuing to work with the talented staff and collaborators to deliver these to our existing audiences and clients,” she says. “We are also determined to create new content and technology at the forefront of the radical changes happening in television, film, online and museum experiences.”

Marsden Inch gives scholarship nod to talented duo 

Ellie Jones and Avani Maan have been announced as the 2013 winners of the Marsden Inch/Media Design School scholarship.

This is the third year that Marsden Inch has sponsored the cash prize, and directors Cindy Mitchener, Jeneal Rohrback and Rob Roydhouse said that the quality in the field improves every year.

Rohrback went on to say that several of the ideas could be worked into campaigns across multiple platforms, which shows that the students understand ideas need to engage to be effective. 

“Ellie and Avani showed all that, plus exceptional talent, personality and most importantly grit, and this is what saw them take the prize over other close behind contenders,” she said.

“[Marsden Inch’s] strong desire to mentor and support graduates, of any discipline, into the industry, remains a core pillar of our business and philosophy.” 

Young comms hotshot wins Joseph Peart Scholarship

Porter Novelli has named AUT Bachelor of Communication Studies 2013 graduate Kaya Arai as the recipient of the Joseph Peart Scholarship.

The scholarship was named in honour of Joseph Peart to acknowledge his long-standing contribution to the field of public relations in New Zealand as a curriculum leader in communication management for more than two decades.

“Porter Novelli has been a very discerning and loyal employer of AUT graduates, reflecting my goal of ethical and strategic public relations. I couldn’t be more thrilled by this scholarship,” said Peart in response to having his name associated with the scholarship.

“Joseph has played a big part in the professional development of many of our consultants over many years and we wanted to find a meaningful way to recognise this. We are hugely encouraged at the quality of applications and candidates we had for this scholarship. It’s a small recognition of the contribution Joseph Peart has made to New Zealand’s PR industry. We feel very privileged to be able to honour him in this way,” said Porter Novelli general manager Strahan Wallis, who will soon transition into his new role as managing director.  

Applicants had to answer a range of written questions, submit a blog or vlog and go through a series of interviews to be awarded the scholarship. As the recipient of the Joseph Peart Scholarship, Kaya Arai has joined Porter Novelli for a six-week internship and will also receive a $1,000 contribution towards further training and development in 2014.

Wallis added that Arai was selected from a strong batch of applicants, and that he was excited to have her as part of the team in summer. 

Another legend leaves Newstalk ZB

Following Murray Deeker’s retirement at the end of October, Newstalk ZB has now lost a second broadcasting legend as Justin du Fresne has announced plans to put his headphones down for the last time early next year.

Having spent 50 years on the radio, this decision brings an end to a long career, most of which was spent at Newstalk ZB. In 1987, Du Fresne took over the role of the Wellington Morning Show host and then later moved on to host the Saturday morning show. 

“Justin has worked for Newstalk ZB for decades, both as our man in Wellington through the week and latterly on Saturday morning. We’re hugely appreciative of his efforts and enormous contribution to the success of the station,” said The Radio Network’s Wellington general manager Rhys Nimmo of du Fresne.

The Radio Network (TRN) has already announced that the Jack Tame Morning Show, hosted by the current US correspondent for TVNZ, will expand into Wellingtion and take over du Fresne’s slot from 11 January 2014.

Marketing Association hooks up with IBM


IBM NZ has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with the Marketing Association, becoming one of the association’s three principal business partners.  

“IBM is leading the way with smarter marketing capabilities and, in a world where technology is rapidly transforming the way consumers interact with brands, their inclusion as one of our three Principal Business Partners, alongside New Zealand Post and Ipsos NZ, will be invaluable in helping New Zealand marketers understand their customer better and the technological advances driving smarter commerce,” said Marketing Association chief executive Sue McCarty.

Courtney Allen, IBM’s head of marketing, communications and corporate citizenship, was equally optimistic about the partnership, adding that “digitally enfranchised and empowered customers lead the agenda for every industry, and this partnership is a strong indicator of the importance IBM places on engaging with marketing professionals as we embrace the new imperatives driving our profession.”

Under its ‘Smarter Commerce’ portfolio, IBM has made several key acquisitions, including Unica, Coremetrics, Tealeaf, Emptoris, DemandTec and, most recently, Xtify. And IBM and the Marketing association believe that this growing portfolio could be used to help clients automate and manage their core business processes across their offerings.

“Our partnership with IBM will ensure our members have access to the latest global thinking around technologies and capabilities that can be harnessed in a local market,” added Allen.

About Author

Comments are closed.