Port chair Pilkington wins leading national business award

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Port of Tauranga Limited’s David Pilkington was named Chairperson of the Year in the Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards.

Deloitte Top 200 judge Cathy Quinn said that any entity Pilkington chaired had performed financially and grown consistently during his tenure.

“He is an inclusive chair and facilitates an environment to get the best out of people and has been selected as the winner due to his track record of success as a chair over a long period.”

Pilkington joined the Port of Tauranga Board in July 2005 and has been chair since 2013. Since then, Port of Tauranga has successfully completed its strategy to become “big ship capable” and is now by far New Zealand’s largest port. 

David Pilkington

The company’s market capitalisation has more than doubled during his tenure to more than $4.6 billion.

His win made it a hat trick for the port at the annual national business awards. Chief executive Mark Cairns won for Chief Executive of the Year in 2012, while Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gray, won CFO of the Year Award in 2017.

Cairns said Pilkington’s win was well-deserved.

“I appreciate David’s steady and pragmatic leadership style, as well as his deep understanding and experience in governance,” he said.

“He ensures a diverse range of opinions are heard from around the board table. His foresight has helped us stay focused on our long-term goals, while remaining flexible and responsive to our operating environment.”

Pilkington had a very direct approach and did not shy away from pulling the management team into line when he saw the need, said Cairns

Pilkington was previously a member of Fonterra’s senior executive and has a strong background in marketing, international business and supply chain logistics. He holds directorships in Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Limited and PrimePort Timaru Limited. He is also chair of Douglas Pharmaceuticals Limited, and Rangatira Limited. He was chair of Northport until November, but stepped down in line with the company’s two-year rotational policy.

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