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Swisse marketing director recognised for leadership during winning year for vitamin brands

Change Makers

Swisse marketing director recognised for leadership during winning year for vitamin brands


The CEO of Blackmores has been named the CEO of the Year, while the marketing director of rival Swisse has won the Marketing Executive of the Year title.

The CEO Magazine‘s Marketing Executive of Year award was bestowed upon Michael Howard (pictured), director of marketing at Swisse Wellness, at the magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards.

After joining the Swisse team as director of sales last year, Howard was promoted to director of sales and marketing on top of heading up the skincare and functional food teams. Over the past 12 months, Swisse has outperformed business objectives, including increasing revenue by 90%, improved EBITDA margins and transitioning from a highly leveraged position to a net cash position.

The Executive of the Year Awards are judged based on the business acumen of applicants on their personal achievements, the contribution and differences the individual has made to the company where they work, financial highlights, and new initiatives that they have established.

Christine Holgate was named CEO of the Year, for her work over the past 12 months in which group sales grew 36% and profits grew by more than double this. The market capitalisation of the organisation grew from $520 million to $1.5 billion, and Blackmores has secured market leadership.

A new Start-up Executive of the Year category was introduced this year to showcase the entrepreneur whose achievements have shaped the business landscape within the financial year 2014/15. It was awarded to Anurag Chakradhar, founder and CEO of Blrt. A digital marketing veteran, Chakradhar invented the  communications platform that enables meeting-like collaboration to happen in an asynchronous way.

Media Executive of the Year was awarded to Luke Littlefield, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, who’s leadership has seen significant growth in turnover and revenue.

Other awards included:

  • Chairperson of the Year: Barbara Yeoh, Monash Health,
  • Managing Director of the Year: Andrew Stewart, Asia Wood Group PSN,
  • CIO of the Year: Ajay Bhatia, Carsales,
  • CFO of the Year: Michael Da Gama Pinto, Swisse Wellness,
  • HR Executive of the Year: Robyn Batson, Sportsgirl/Sussan Group,
  • Sales Executive of the Year: Matthew Kates, Zerto,
  • Not for Profit Executive of the Year: Louise Baxter, Starlight Children’s Foundation,
  • Young Executive of the Year: Adam Schwab, AussieCommerce Group, and
  • Executive Assistant of the Year: Dimitra Zographos, Western Union Business Solutions.


Industry-specific awards:

  • Financial Services Executive of the Year: Chris Ridd, Xero,
  • Retail Executive of the Year: Michael Ford, The Good Guys,
  • Innovation and Design Executive of the Year: Frank Seeley AM, Seeley International,
  • Construction Executive of the Year: Jonathan Hallinan, BPM,
  • Energy and Resources Executive of the Year: Ian Murray, Gold Road Resources,
  • Hospitality and Tourism Executive of the Year: Barry Robinson, Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim and Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific,
  • IT and Telecommunications Executive of the Year: David Dicker, Dicker Data,
  • Health and Pharmaceutical Executive of the Year: David Cade, Sirtex Medical, and
  • Transport and Logistics Executive of the Year: Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport.


Peter Roper

Editor of Marketing and Marketing Mag from 2013 to 2017. Tweets as @pete_arrr.

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