New leadership team for Plant & Food Research

9 August 2018

Plant & Food Research is pleased to announce a refreshed senior management team following the promotion of David Hughes to CEO and the resignations of two senior leaders after lengthy terms of service. 

The senior team has been increased by one to seven with the creation of two science leadership roles, replacing the Chief Operating Officer role – one to head Science Services and the other responsible for Technology Development. 

The appointments are:

Philippa Stevens to Group General Manager Science Services

Dr Kieran Elborough to Group General Manager Technology Development

Dr Gavin Ross to Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation

Quentin Smith to Group General Manager Finance, Infrastructure and Information

CEO David Hughes said: “In Philippa, Kieran and Gavin we have three highly experienced and capable leaders stepping up from within the organisation to join our senior team at an exciting time of renewal. Quentin joins Plant & Food Research on 20 August. He brings a breadth of financial, commercial and property development experience and is looking forward to joining an organisation committed to contributing to the success of New Zealand’s plant and food sectors.

“I look forward to working with them to build a cohesive and successful senior team, and also develop the contribution by our wider management team. Results matter - we all want to see our world class science positively impacting New Zealand - but equally important is getting results in the right way. Our refreshed senior team will model an authentic, open and supportive culture, which is essential across our organisation if we are to successfully deliver world-class science and a business strategy shift over the next few years.”

As Group General Manager Science Services, Ms Stevens’ leadership will ensure the fee for service part of the organisation produces high quality science and generates the financial resources needed to achieve our goals. She is well placed to do this. With a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) and a Master of Science, Ms Stevens has been employed at Plant & Food Research and its predecessors since 1989; from 2009 as the General Manager Science for Bioprotection, responsible for approximately 150 researchers, and for three years prior to this as the Group Leader for Bioprotection. Reporting to Ms Stevens will be the General Managers Science of the Bioprotection and Sustainable Production portfolios.

As Group General Manager Technology Development, Dr Elborough will lead the growth of our technology development activities and the profitable growth of royalty revenues. With a BSc Honours and a PhD, Dr Elborough has been General Manager of New Cultivar Innovation since 2012. Prior to this he was the GM of Science, Food Innovation (2009-2012) and Business Development Manager Functional Foods (2006-2009).  Before that he worked at ViaLactia Biosciences Limited for six years as Chief Scientist Forage & Rumen. Reporting to Dr Elborough will be the GMs of the Food Innovation, Seafood Technologies and New Cultivar Innovation portfolios. 

As Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation, Dr Ross will champion excellence in customer relationships, create new business models and enhance our brand. Dr Ross has a BSc (Hons) 1st Class and a PhD and joined our predecessor organisation in 1988 as a scientist. His career developed into general management and business development with the organisation before he left for two years to join Agrigenesis Bioscience. His current role is General Manager, Business Development, a role he has held since 2010; prior to that he was employed at Davis in California as Vice President, Business Development from 2005-2010.

As Group General Manager Finance, Infrastructure & Information, Mr Smith will lead the management of infrastructure and information to achieve our goals. Mr Smith began his career with professional services firm, PwC, where he became an Associate. From here, he became a Financial Consultant with McDonalds Restaurants New Zealand and went on to head up the Finance and Development portfolios for the business. He was responsible for the management of the company’s $400 million property holdings across New Zealand and had financial oversight for 166 restaurants. 

Craig Jensen, General Manager Human Resources, and Dr Richard Newcomb, Chief Scientist, will remain on the Senior Management Team.

Contact:
Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
EMail: media@plantandfood.co.nz
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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