All aboard the people train…

Things seem fairly sedate on the Movings/Shakings front at present, but there are a few noteworthy exceptions, with a Kiwi chap being tapped for higher Unilever honours, TVNZ announcing some new blood for its board and the Semi-Permanent doyenne who’s sailing for waters anew.

First Petone, now the world!

The massive consumer products beast that is Unilever has appointed Jan Zijderveld as a member of its worldwide board and president for Western Europe, one of Unilever’s three global regions.

Zijderveld, a New Zealand national who immigrated to the country with his family at age 15, was educated at the University of Waikato and started his career with Unilever in 1986 as a brand manager in Petone, working on projects for Persil, Rexona, Continental, Drive and Surf.

He also worked for Unilever in Australia before embarking on an international career with the company that took him to the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, North Africa and South East Asia. His most recent position was a three year stint as regional executive vice president of South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Zijderveld, 46, joins a growing list of Unilever New Zealand employees who have had long and successful careers in Unilever’s global operations. Former New Zealand employees are now running Unilever in Canada; the Unilever supply chain across much of Asia, Australia and New Zealand; and all of Unilever’s worldwide market research and marketing services.

“New Zealand was a great place to begin my career. Kiwis have a positive ‘can do’ mindset and Unilever New Zealand offered me the chance to learn the ropes with broad roles and responsibilities, providing a solid training ground for my career,” says Zijderveld. “… I’ve had a long and fulfilling career with the company and look forward to working with our employees to continue to deliver strong results for Unilever and our leading brands.”

Julia Farrant, Unilever’s vice president for human resources, Australia and New Zealand, wished Zijderveld “every success in this next stage of his career and says this appointment, along with other senior appointments in the region, demonstrates that New Zealand and Australia are well placed to deliver top talent with great experience to the region and worldwide.

“Jan’s success story shows there are fantastic career paths available to Unilever employees, and our company offers great opportunities through our global reach and iconic brands.”

On board

Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced the appointment of professional company director Wayne Walden and business consultant Alison Gerry to the board of TVNZ. They will replace outgoing board members June McCabe and Bryan Gould.

Coleman also confirmed that Sir John Anderson, who was appointed chair in 2006, has been retained as chair for another year from 1 May. Walden and Gerry were both appointed for three years.

‘’Wayne and Alison bring skill sets that will add to the existing expertise of the board,’’ Coleman says. ‘’Wayne’s background is grounded in the retail and business sectors. He was the managing director of the Farmers Deka retail chain and was chair of Tranzrail. He’s also been heavily involved in Maori Television serving as chair from 2003 to 2007.

‘’Alison’s business acumen and experience is comprehensive and her financial management skills are a real asset for the board.’’

Gerry, a Kiwibank director, specialises in financial management and, before establishing her own business, was group treasurer for Lion Nathan in Sydney. Walden is currently a director at Maori Television but will resign from that position before joining the TVNZ board on 1 May.

Very Semi-Permanent

Anna Cameron, one of the main brains behind design symposium Semi-Permanent, has accepted a full-time permanent role as senior producer with the NZ International Arts Festival in Wellington, which means she won’t be working with The Church to produce Semi-Permanent any longer.

“Planning for the event is well underway and The Church are going to be advancing a few very exciting changes to the event, which is scheduled for 26 & 27 August 2011 at The Aotea Centre.  The core team of Jon Raymen, creative director, The Church Auckland, Adeline Chua, account manager, The Church Auckland and Paul Soong, general manager, The Church, Wellington have successfully realised seven years of Semi-Permanent in New Zealand. And there will be a wider team brought on board as the planning develops.”

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