Tourism NZ appoints Kevin Bowler as CEO

kevin bowler 2Tourism New Zealand Chairman Greg Muir announced today the appointment of Kevin Bowler as its new CEO.

Mr Bowler has extensive marketing and business leadership experience spanning fast moving consumer goods, technology and media brands in New Zealand and overseas.

He is currently CEO for start-up Yahoo!Xtra, a JV between Yahoo!7 and Telecom. During this period Mr Bowler has taken a leadership role in the digital communications industry chairing the NZ Interactive Advertising Bureau since 2008.

Chairman Greg Muir said that interest in the role had been strong with an impressive lineup of candidates. “There was a great deal of interest in this role both from within New Zealand and offshore which is a mark of the reputation that Tourism New Zealand has established.”

“We were looking for someone with demonstrable leadership skills and someone who understands the value of brands, the opportunities that the online environment offers and the challenges of operating on a global stage,” he said.

Mr Bowler will be based in Tourism New Zealand’s Auckland office and will spread his time between Wellington and Auckland offices.

Prior to Yahoo!Xtra, Kevin spent several years with Telecom, initially leading the marketing led resurgence in mobile with initiatives like T3G and $10txt, then moving on to lead marketing across Telecom’s whole consumer business.

He worked in fast moving consumer goods marketing and general management both in NZ with Unilever and NZ Dairy Foods and in the UK with Rank Hovis McDougall Foods. He also has experience in advertising account management supporting Air New Zealand while at HDM Mattingly and Cadbury while with DDB.

Mr Bowler will take up his new role in early January.

In announcing the new appointment Mr Muir acknowledged outgoing Chief Executive George Hickton.

“George and the team have done an outstanding job over the last decade positioning New Zealand as one of the best places to visit worldwide. Even this week New Zealand was, once again, voted the best destination brand.”

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