To welcome in the new year, our latest profile of key members of The Icehouse team is a special one, as we focus on Gavin Lennox, our Group CEO.
‘I oversee the leadership of our Growth business and also our Ventures business. Both are separate entities within The Icehouse – our Growth side of the business is led by Liz Wotherspoon and Ventures is led by Robbie Paul,’ explains Gavin.
Gavin joined as Group CEO in February 2020 and just a few weeks later New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown – an extraordinary introduction to life at The Icehouse!
A year like no other
‘2020 was a particularly challenging time for all of us as we navigated the uncertainty of a COVID-impacted world,’ says Gavin.
‘Many of us are glad to be moving forward, however, I’ve been privileged to witness the grit and bravery of our customers, all of whom have adapted in some way. Fortunately, some have thrived, though some have certainly struggled.’
Gavin has utilised his many years of senior leadership experience to navigate the group through the upheavals of the past year. ‘I joined The Icehouse group because of its purpose - to help unleash the extraordinary potential of Kiwi business owners and startup founders through knowledge, investment and connections.
‘This purpose provided a guiding light to how we responded to Covid – focusing quickly on helping Kiwi business owners and startup founders through the tough times.’
His last position before joining The Icehouse was as CEO of Invenco, a technology company and global provider of self-service payment solutions – also winner of the NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year for 2018 as he led 230 staff and generating more than $100 million dollars of revenue.
Portfolio of leadership expertise
Before that, he spent 25 years working overseas (including Australia, the USA and Canada) for many technology-focused companies before heading back to New Zealand in 2004.
In that time he has built an incredible portfolio of expertise in international organisational leadership, business development, strategy and product development, capital raising, and everything in between.
After arriving back in NZ he quickly immersed himself in the business scene, connecting with Andy Hamilton (the previous CEO of The Icehouse) and also joining The Ice Angels – ‘a great way to give back to New Zealand’, so he has always been familiar with The Icehouse and what we do.
A globetrotter from his earliest days, Gavin was born in Singapore and lived there until he was 16. He has studied in the US, and received his BSc in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering and his MEng in Engineering, data communications, at Brunel University in the UK.
When he’s not cycling or riding his motorcycle, Gavin is an avid non-fiction reader. ‘I am really interested in history and was inspired when living in different countries and meeting different people. I took interest in where they have come from and what forms their attitudes on life.’
Through his love of literature he also has a deep knowledge of military tactics and history, but thankfully he hasn’t needed to apply his learnings around The Icehouse office!
Building and leading teams
Indeed he excels at, and enjoys, building and leading teams with a firm philosophy around creating an environment where teams trust each other and ‘everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, aligned to customers and delivering product excellence’.
Gavin was at the helm as The Icehouse celebrated its 50th Owner Manager Programme and 1000th ‘OMPer’ and as we establish ourselves back into working life after the long Kiwi summer, Gavin envisions an exciting year of purpose, growth, with plenty more to celebrate.
‘2021 will be another big year when we celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Icehouse and keep building momentum so that The Icehouse and Icehouse Ventures remain lasting, iconic and sustainable organisations.’
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For more Staff Profiles, check out our Team page.