2015 Executive of the Year Awards Winners

As the sun set over the Yarra riverbank, Crown Melbourne’s grandest venue, The Palladium, began to fill with sharp-suited men and elegantly dressed women. All were gathered for the 2015 Executive of the Year Awards, the most highly anticipated event on the annual business calendar.

More than 600 entries were received across 22 categories, with the expert judges scrutinising every application closely, identifying the achievements of aspiring and established leaders before determining the worthiest of winners. And here they are…

  • Executive Awards Judge Christine Holgate

    Christine Holgate

    CEO of Blackmores

    Under the leadership of Christine, Blackmores group sales grew 36% and profits more than doubled. Blackmores is now the largest Austra-Asia Natural Health Group.

  • Executive Awards Judge Jason Dooris

    Jason Dooris

    CEO of Atomic 212

    Atomic 212’s Jason Dooris oversaw the transformation of the agency from a digital-only business into a full service media agency.

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    Executive Awards Judge Vaughn Richtor

    Vaughn Richtor


    ING DIRECT Australia is the nation’s most recommended bank (Nielsen 2014/15). Under Vaughn’s leadership, bank profit rose by 9.4 per cent.

  • Executive Awards Judge Barbara Yeoh

    Barbara Yeoh

    Chairperson of Monash Health

    Barbara Yeoh is an extraordinary woman, with over 25 years’ experience as a director across public and private sector agencies in the health, education, finance, transport, technology and infrastructure sectors.

  • Executive Awards Judge Julien O’Connell

    Julien O’Connell

    Chairman of Mercy Health

    Runner-up for Chairperson of the Year was Julien O’Connell, Chairman, Mercy Health.

  • Executive Awards Judge Andrew Stewart

    Andrew Stewart

    Managing Director of Australia and Asia Wood Group PSN

    Andrew Stewart oversees over 2,200 employees and is accountable for leading, planning and controlling a diverse range of oil and gas, refining, chemicals, coal seam gas and water contracts.

  • Executive Awards Judge Chris Ridd

    Chris Ridd

    Managing Director of Xero Australia

    Since January 2014, Chris Ridd’s achievements include doubling the number of employees from 109 to over 200 and growing the Australian management team from five to eight.

  • Executive Awards Judge Ajay Bhatia

    Ajay Bhatia

    CIO of Carsales

    Over the last year Ajay implemented a customer focused structure (called Tribal Structure) within his team that allowed them to focus on the customer/ business metrics rather than pre-defined projects outcomes.

  • Executive Awards Judge Michael Da Gama Pinto

    Michael Da Gama Pinto

    CFO of Swisse Wellness

    Since joining Swisse in 2013, Michael has helped lead the business to deliver accelerated growth with sustainable financial performance.

  • Executive Awards Judge Darren Smith

    Darren Smith

    CFO of Sirtex Medical

    Runner-up for CFO of the Year was Darren Smith, CFO, Sirtex Medical.

  • Executive Awards Judge Robyn Batson

    Robyn Batson

    Group People & Development Manager of Sportsgirl/Sussan Group

    Robyn is a passionate driven senior HR leader with a wealth of experience and applies the company’s business values in everything she does.

  • Executive Awards Judge Michael Howard

    Michael Howard

    Director of Marketing of Swisse Wellness

    Michael has helped Swisse to outperform business objectives, including increased revenue by 90 per cent, improved EBITDA margins and transitioning from a highly leveraged position to a net cash position.

  • Executive Awards Judge Matthew Kates

    Matthew Kates

    Sales Director ANZ of Zerto

    Matthew Kates, Sales Director for Zerto has been pivotal in opening up the business in Australia and launching Zerto in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) back in January 2014.

  • Executive Awards Judge Anurag Chakradhar

    Anurag Chakradhar

    Founder and CEO of Blrt

    Anurag Chakradhar invented Blrt – a groundbreaking communications platform that enables meeting-like collaboration to happen in an asynchronous fashion.

  • Executive Awards Judge Louise Baxter

    Louise Baxter

    Chief Executive of Starlight Children’s Foundation

    Since Louise become the CEO of Starlight in 2009 (post GFC), there has been a complete business turnaround with every metric recording improvement.

  • Executive Awards Judge Adam Schwab

    Adam Schwab

    CEO and Co-founder of AussieCommerce Group

    At only 35, Adam Schwab has managed to create an ecommerce giant and a strong player in the Australian market.

  • Executive Awards Judge Dimitra Zographos

    Dimitra Zographos

    Executive Assistant to the Executive and Leadership team of Western Union Business Solutions

    Dimitra is passionate for the Executive Assistant function and thrives on having a great partnership with her executive and leadership team, adding value to the business and helping people progress.

  • Executive Awards Judge Chris Ridd

    Chris Ridd

    Managing Director of Xero Australia

    Under Chris’ leadership, Xero Australia has gained recognition as the #1 Most Innovative Company in 2015 by BRW Magazine and was ranked #16 in BRW’s Great Place to Work Awards

  • Executive Awards Judge Michael Ford

    Michael Ford

    CEO of The Good Guys

    Michael has led The Good Guys into a new age of prosperity by identifying and utilising industry trends, investing in best-of-breed systems and adapting practices to accommodate rapidly changing consumer needs.

  • Executive Awards Judge Frank Seeley AM

    Frank Seeley AM

    Executive Chairman of Seeley International

    Under Frank’s guidance Seeley International has continued to grow year on year, with growth of more than 30 per cent in the past 2 years.

  • Executive Awards Judge Jonathan Hallinan

    Jonathan Hallinan

    Managing Director of BPM

    Jonathan has taken BPM from purely a property brand into an entire lifestyle brand, introducing a series of coffee houses, hotels, and champagne bars which will be housed within Shadow Play.

  • Executive Awards Judge Ian Murray

    Ian Murray

    Executive Chairman of Gold Road Resources Limited

    Ian’s prime objective is ensuring the production of the company’s gold resource in the Yamarna Greenstone Belt in Western Australia, a newly discovered world-class gold region.

  • Executive Awards Judge Barry Robinson

    Barry Robinson

    President and Managing Director of Wyndham Hotel Group

    Barry has been the driving force behind many significant new hotel acquisitions, hotel franchises, management agreements and enhanced resort developments across Australia and South East Asia.

  • Executive Awards Judge David Dicker

    David Dicker

    Chairman and CEO of Dicker Data

    David founded Dicker Data in 1978 and has since grown his operation to boast revenues in excess of AUD$1.1B.

  • Executive Awards Judge David Cade

    David Cade

    Global Medical Director of Sirtex Medical

    As CMO, Dr Cade is responsible for the medical affairs of this rapidly growing global healthcare business, which operates in 40 countries.

  • Executive Awards Judge Kerrie Mather

    Kerrie Mather

    Managing Director and CEO of Sydney Airport

    Kerrie works with stakeholders to foster the growth of aviation for the benefit of Sydney, NSW and Australia, including driving tourism growth and delivering a world-class airport experience.

  • Executive Awards Judge Luke Littlefield

    Luke Littlefield

    CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network

    Dentsu Aegis Network is the largest, most diverse and successful marketing and communications business in Australia. Luke’s philosophy is one of a collaborative, ‘values based performance culture’.