Perhaps best known for her role as CEO of Telecom New Zealand, Theresa Gattung was the first female CEO of an NZX listed company. Since leaving Telecom, she divides her time between professional governance, entrepreneurial projects, and philanthropic work.
As co-founder of My Food Bag, alongside Cecilia Robinson and Nadia Lim, she helped take the start-up to a nationwide company with a turnover of over $130m.
She is currently Chair AIA New Zealand, Chair Tend, Chair Global Women, a member of the National Advisory Board on the Employment of Women and the New Zealand lead of Coralus (formerly SheEO).
In 2021 she funded the Theresa Gattung Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship within the University of Auckland Business School and also launched the Gattung Foundation whose main charitable purposes are to support the relief of poverty, the education and advancement of women, Maori and Pasifika to reduce inequality and the care, support and protection of animals.
In the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, Theresa was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.
Thank you for your presentation to and discussion with participants in the Public Sector Advanced Leadership Programme last Thursday. All of us appreciated your energy, your grounded wisdom ... keep readingabout people and organisations and your insights into your own leadership journey, from those formative experiences at home through to the transition from CEO to Board member and Chair. I particularly appreciated your views on the challenges that public sector leaders face in securing durable commitment to decisions and in gaining public recognition of our successes. I could tell from the atmosphere you created in the room and the lively chatter at the end that your insights into authentic leadership, finding the right people to work for and with, and being clear about what you stand for and are seeking to achieve really struck a chord. Leadership Development Centre
Thank you so much for joining us as the keynote speaker at our Seventh Women in Multinationals Forums in Melbourne and Sydney. Your luncheon presentation was the highlight of two very successful meetings. It was highly entertaining and inspiring for the audience of high-potential women, most of whom face a familiar struggle in balancing family and other commitments as they seek to progress their careers within global companies. Your frank reflections on what you'd learned about yourself and corporate life since leaving the fast-paced world of publicly listed companies were particularly valuable - especially the importance of pacing oneself and of maintaining a sense of perspective, personal health and well-being.
Theresa opened Leadership week for us at Hamilton City Council. She captured everyone's attention with her personal insights, quick wit and humour, and a glimpse into a world most of us only dream of. The feedback was very positive and many commented that they had taken away something to think about. Thank you for your thought-provoking insights into leadership.
Numerous emails from various women around the country have expressed that they have enjoyed meeting you and hearing you speak. More importantly, some were so touched that they have changed the outcome on where they are now heading, purely from hearing you speak, all in a positive way. That I feel speaks volumes, so thank you for doing that, for inspiring those who really have heard what you wanted to put across
Since your talk, I have been thinking how your many experiences have led you to the role of Chair of Wool Partners. If anyone can assist New Zealand's wool farmers to realize greater opportunity in global markets, it's you. Hope they realise their good fortune in having someone with your wealth of experience and laser-like focus on their side
I have received the most feedback - all positive - I have ever had following your presentation. Many people said it inspired and motivated them, the youth forum group were particularly impressed. I also heard a few people say you were the best speaker they have ever heard and I know of a few who have already finished reading your book.