A Lion Has Passed
At 6.30am on a wintry, cold 1989 Toronto morning, two partners of Egon Zehnder knocked on my door. They had been sent by Douglas Myers to find an operator to run the newly merged Lion Nathan NZ conglomerate of beer, soft drinks, supermarkets, hotels, wines and spirits. A few months later I had packed up and left Pepsi Cola Canada to move to the other end of the world to work for the most charismatic, paradoxical, irresistible, revolutionary I would ever meet. A great man. A great New Zealander.
He taught me about daring to dream, about the complexities of people, about driving performance, about winning, and about being a new New Zealander.
I loved him, respected him, admired him, trusted him and was driven by him to Learn, Fail and Fix.
He was caring and demanding in equal parts. He was provocative, brave, controversial, passionate and independent.
A pirate amongst sailors.
He passed today. 78 years young.
A New Zealand Lion.