Milestone Chief Executive appointment

In an important milestone for HG, Karen West has been appointed our new Chief Executive.

Karen becomes the first woman employee to lead the company.

Announcing the news today, HG’s Chair, Dame Jo Brosnahan, said the unanimous Board appointment was effective immediately.

Karen has been HG’s Transitional CE since 1 April of this year, replacing Glen Cornelius who stepped back from the role. 

Dame Jo said over the last three months, the Board had very much appreciated Karen’s leadership. “She is authentic, courageous, and visionary in terms of where the company must go. She also cares deeply about people and the Board applauds her open style, her engagement with the organisation at large, and her key success factors for the organisation,” said Dame Jo. 

Karen has been with HG for 12 years. In 2017 she became the first woman employee to be appointed to HG’s Board from within the company. Karen previously held senior executive roles in marketing, branding, communications and client relationships in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  Karen is a founding member of the Diversity@HG group and an immediate past Board Member of Infrastructure New Zealand.

The Board also believes that there is much value for HG in the senior leadership combination of Karen, supported by Ceinwen McNeil and Dave Needham, and that the new flattened leadership team means that the whole company is now much closer to its leaders.

Dame Jo said Karen’s appointment was extremely important for the company and takes HG another step forward on our Next Generation strategy, focusing on creating better and more sustainable communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.