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Vic Crone, former Xero manager and Auckland mayoral candidate, appointed as Callaghan CEO

Thursday 9th February 2017

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Vic Crone, a former New Zealand managing director for Xero, has been appointed as chief executive of Callaghan Innovation, the government agency tasked with accelerating the commercialisation of innovation by local businesses. 

The agency's first chief executive, Mary Quin, resigned from the role in July 2016 after three years at the helm. Crone will take over from Feb. 28, Callaghan said in a statement.

Chair Sue Suckling said Crone will "lead the next phase of the organisation’s development", and "brings a track record of leading and implementing organisational strategy to achieve challenging outcomes, through a customer-driven approach and building the strong organisational culture necessary to deliver results."

Crone was New Zealand head of Xero until last year when she left to pursue a bid for the Auckland mayoralty. She has held executive roles at Chorus and Telecom New Zealand, and is a director of Contact Energy and Creative HQ.

"Her significant executive and governance experience in the tech and innovation sector, and her broader profile, also position her well to drive Callaghan Innovation’s connectedness with all key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem," Suckling said.

Hēmi Rolleston, Callaghan's interim CEO after Quin left, has been appointed to the new role of general manager of sectors, Māori economy and programmes. Rolleston was formerly general manager of Māori economy. Rolleston implemented significant initiatives to increase Callaghan's responsiveness to customers, the agency said.

A review of Callaghan published in Dec. 2016, five months after Quin left, found Callaghan had "weak" management and was "struggling internally" to complete a strategy guiding how it offers services to companies with high-value, high-tech commercial ideas. 

The review, by former public sector leader Paula Rebstock through the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF), said Callaghan appeared to be "caught mid-stream between two very different operating models", with its original hierarchical leadership management models no longer working to deliver its strategy.  

Callaghan was only able to assist firms in the "very early stage phase", leading the PIF review to question whether its workforce "has the required depth and breadth of experience and whether its current model sufficiently addresses its full potential client base across the likely trajectory path from start-up to IPO (public capital-raising)." However, the Maori enterprise unit was singled out for praise, with the review finding innovative Maori businesses increasingly turning to the organisation.

 

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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