2023 Deloitte Top 200 Award Winners
Auckland, 6 December – Announced this evening at an awards ceremony in Auckland, the winners of the 2023 Deloitte Top 200 awards have demonstrated adaptability and resilience throughout challenging economic times.
The Deloitte Top 200 awards are held annually to recognise and celebrate outstanding individual and management team performances among New Zealand’s largest companies and trading organisations. The 2023 winners and finalists have shown an aptitude for embracing the power of innovation to create future-proof solutions that help turn challenges into opportunities.
Deloitte Chief Executive Mike Horne reflected on the last year and its effect on the business community, “with a cost-of-living crisis, inflation, global unrest, and severe weather events, our communities and our economy have taken a beating, but it's within this challenging landscape that we’ve seen the most resilient and innovative organisations emerge successful.”
“The businesses recognised on the Top 200 have displayed innovative and thoughtful solutions, including creatively rethinking products and services, that have undoubtedly ensured the long-term survival of their businesses, and it’s what has made them our ‘champions of adaptability.’”
For 2023, the independent judges selected Xero as Company of the Year, and Tourism Holdings’ Grant Webster as Chief Executive of the Year. Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger of Wētā Workshop received the Visionary Leader of the Year award.
Returning in her role as judging convener for the 34th year of the awards, Fran O’Sullivan, New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s Head of Business Content, said “the Top 200 gives us an opportunity to celebrate unmatched leadership and team performances from the best in New Zealand business.”
“It takes a lot of business prowess to deliver strong results in challenging times, and even more to be at the forefront of our economy, committed to leading the way,” continues O’Sullivan.
Xero was recognised for its wide array of services tailored to small businesses, an impressive subscriber count of 3.7 million, and a robust market capitalisation exceeding 16 billion New Zealand dollars. All these factors, alongside exceptional leadership, have netted New Zealand’s high-tech unicorn the prestigious Company of the Year award.
As CEO of Tourism Holdings Limited (THL), and now the Deloitte Top 200 CEO of the Year, Grant Webster has been pivotal in transforming New Zealand’s tourism sector to achieve remarkable growth and financial recovery. While Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, the creative duo behind Wētā Workshop, have put New Zealand’s creative industry on the world map.
Together with Fran O’Sullivan, this year’s Top 200 judging panel includes Jonathan Mason, Neil Paviour-Smith, Ross George and Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua. In addition to the skills of the independent judges, the Top 200 awards would not be possible without our exclusive media sponsor The New Zealand Herald and the support of our category sponsors 2degrees, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Barfoot & Thompson, BusinessNZ, Forsyth Barr, Hobson Leavy, ServiceNow, Tax Traders, and University of Auckland Business School.
Talking to the calibre of finalists, Judge Jonathan Mason said selecting this year’s winner was particularly difficult.
“The companies and executives who were finalists were already extraordinarily strong performers, so picking the winner is making a judgment on who, or what company, had the greatest impact on their shareholders and stakeholders. The majority of finalists and winners benefitted from solid international operations and profits that offset a generally weak New Zealand market, but also bring challenges in complexity and more intense competition,” said Mason.
The judges also recognised Professor John Loughlin, whose career spans over three decades in the New Zealand agribusiness and infrastructure sectors in governance roles. He is known for skilfully guiding apple-grower Rockit Global through the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and leading Zespri through the PsA crisis.
Across the board, organisations are seeing that continued responsiveness and long-term focus is needed to work through a transforming technology landscape that includes the emergence of AI.
“This year’s winners have fought against some significant headwinds without taking their eye off the things that matter in modern business, including the introduction of Generative AI which is set to shape our collective future,” continues Horne.
“I’ve always admired the organisations on the Top 200, they never seem to falter in the face of uncertainty and that’s something to be respected. After 34 years, Deloitte continues to be inspired by the exceptional talent and leadership recognised by the awards, and by this year’s finalists and winners.”
As high performing businesses the Top 200 organisations have shown us how we can look into the challenges and opportunities facing us, think differently, adapt our approach, and proactively shape our own futures. The full list of winners for 2023 can be found below.
2023 Deloitte Top 200 Winners
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Company of the Year
Barfoot & Thompson
Diversity & Inclusion Leadership
Most Improved Performance
Port of Auckland
Chairperson of the Year
Rob Hewett – Silver Fern Farms
Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger – Wētā Workshop
Chief Executive of the Year
Grant Webster – Tourism Holdings
Chief Financial Officer of the Year
Kirsty Godfrey-Billy - Xero
University of Auckland Business School
Young Executive of the Year
Penny Dell - ANZ
Best Growth Strategy
John Loughlin - Bluelab, PowerCo