Transitioning to C-Suite Programme

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Transitioning to C-Suite Programme

Accelerate your transition into C-Suite

This modular programme transforms talented managers into executive-ready leaders. You are introduced to the differences in operating at the executive level compared to senior management, and how you need to adjust your leadership style to be effective at the C-Suite level.  

In these challenging times leaders need access to the latest tools to position themselves and their organisations competitively — for today and the future. Learn advanced management concepts and tools from the University of Auckland’s faculty and the business leaders of New Zealand. Enhance your career capital and future growth opportunities. Prepare for your future in the C-Suite.

Programme overview

Throughout the programme you will connect with senior executives and board directors who discuss the realities of being an executive. The modules blend academic rigour with business practicality and enable you to build new networks, shift mindsets and gain confidence to operate at a senior level.

The programme is for ambitious, high-performing managers across all organisational areas aspiring to senior leadership roles in the next five years.  Past participants have risen to senior positions in Information Technology, Financial Operations, Marketing, Project Management and Supply Chain Leadership, Human Resources and roles leading an enterprise as a General Manager.

By attending this program, you will:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the critical functional areas within a company.
  • Learn how to manage across functional areas and lead cross teams.
  • Strengthen decision-making skills and enhance strategic thinking.
  • Learn to shape organisational culture to create value for stakeholders.
  • Expand your professional and personal network and establish long-term relationships with key executives from other organisations across Aotearoa.
  • Learn strategic tools and techniques to manage future growth.
  • Position yourself to take on more strategic, organisational roles.
  • Gain greater self-awareness and understanding of how you work with others.
  • Develop your leadership and coaching skills through mentoring and peer coaching workshops.

The benefits for your organisation

Develop influential team members

Retain a valued leader who will positively influence others.

Deliver organisational goals

Your peers will benefit from a more collaborative partner to deliver organisational goals.

Part of vast network

Become part of the University of Auckland’s vast network of leading executives, academics and organisations who may hold answers to your organisation’s most difficult questions.

Grow leadership capability

Your organisation will gain a more confident and capable future executive leader.


The programme consists of three core in-person modules supplemented with online sessions. It’s designed to allow participants from around New Zealand to attend and runs from August to December 2023.

Module One
Leadership and Strategy at the Executive Level

  • Thinking as a leader. Mindset shifts needed to move from management to executive leadership.
  • Strategic leadership. Developing a functional strategy that aligns with the corporate strategy in complex organisations.
  • Facilitated networking. Purposeful opportunities to build relationships with your cohort.

In-person workshops:

Two days – 14/15 August
University of Auckland, City Campus

Module Two
Leading Organisational Change and Innovation at the Executive Level

  • Effective change leadership at the executive level. Frameworks for enabling organisations to embrace innovation, limit risk and challenge the status quo trap.
  • Developing an innovation mindset. Identify and act on opportunities for innovation and growth, both personally and across the organisation.
  • Leading effective collaboration as an executive. Across teams, functions, organisations and sectors.
  • Online learning programme platform. Reflect on your learning and applying it in the workplace.

In-person workshops:
Two days – 19/20 September
University of Auckland, City Campus

Module Three
Executive Communication and Influencing

  • Communicate with power. Through immersive interactive workshops, gain tools and techniques to achieve outcomes across most communications tasks including verbal, written, in-person and online.
  • Collaborative board management. Gain an understanding of how to build successful relationships with boards, present to them with confidence, and utilise the skills and experience boards can provide.
  • Road map for the future. A facilitated reflection on programme learnings and development of a plan for continued personal and professional development and career success.

In-person workshops:
Two days – 7/8 November
University of Auckland, City Campus

Reflection and review of programme learnings and application

  • A review of how you have integrated learning into your work and how to continue to build your networks for the future.

Online or in-person discussion:

Date TBC



Our expert facilitators for this programme include:

Who should attend?

  • Ambitious mid-to-senior leaders who want to accelerate their move into strategic roles that require different and broader thinking and action to ultimately make a difference across an organisation.
  • Existing executives in small to medium-sized companies who wish to prepare for more senior roles.
  • Aspiring leaders in corporates or large organisations who have been identified as potential executives.

Participant fee

The fee for participating in the programme is $12,500 +GST. This includes course materials, presenters, and catering (in-person classes and networking events). Discounts are available for self-sponsored participants, organisations sponsoring multiple participants and University of Auckland staff.

Ready to apply?

Apply now to be part of this programme.

Learn how to:

  • Understand differences between senior management and strategic executive leadership
  • Become an effective executive leader who can lead and manage change     
  • Develop and implement organisational level strategy
  • Communicate and negotiate with executives and boards
  • Influence across teams and organisations

Learn how to:

  • Understand differences between senior management and strategic executive leadership
  • Become an effective executive leader who can lead and manage change     
  • Develop and implement organisational level strategy
  • Communicate and negotiate with executives and boards
  • Influence across teams and organisations

2022 Programme Advisors & Mentors

Information Technology
  • Chris Trigg: GM Group Technology – IAG
  • Andrew Haddad: CIO – Vodafone
  • Nikhil Ravishankar: CDO – Air New Zealand
  • Priti Ambani: Director Tata Consultancy Services
  • Mike Clarke: Head of IT Advisory – KPMG
  • Allan Lightbourne: CDO – Tauranga City Council
  • Simon Kennedy: CIO/CDO – Foodstuffs North Island
  • Faris Azimullah: Partner Enterprise Risk Services – Deloitte
  • Jason Mangan: CTO – University of Auckland
  • Rebecca Chenery: CDO – Watercare services
  • Julia Raue: Independent Director – The Warehouse
  • Russell Jones: Independent Director, Formally CIO – BNZ
  • Brendan Bain: Enterprise Director – Microsoft
  • Jennifer Sepull: Independent Director – formerly at Air New Zealand
Financial Operations
  • Jonathan Mason: Independent Director, Vector, Zespri. Westpac and Air New Zealand
  • Roger France: Non-Executive Director, Board Member and Deputy Chairman, Orion Health, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Southern Cross Medical Society, University of Auckland Foundation, Dilworth Trust Board and Treasury Commercial Operations Advisory Board
  • Rob Hamilton: Non-Executive Director, Westpac, Oceania Healthcare, Kamari Consulting, Stelvio Consulting, Tourism Holdings
  • Mary-Jane Daly: Non-Executive Director, Kiwibank, Fonterra Shareholders Fund, Kiwi Property Group, Earthquake Commission and Auckland Transport
  • Mandy Tomkins-Dancey: CFO – Skin Institute Group
  • William Meek: CFO – Mercury
  • Chris Jewell: CFO – Lodestone Energy
  • Kate Parsons: CFO, Non-Executive Director, Board Member, Rush, Entrada Travel Group, Technique and Mainfreight
  • Rob McDonald: Director, Board Member, Chairman, Contact Energy, Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ, Sovereign and Fletcher Building
  • Stefan Knight: CFO – Spark
  • Anna Davis: Finance Director – Weta Digital
  • Helen He: CFO – Microsoft NZ
General Manager & People Leadership
  • Barbara Harrison: Chief People Officer – GUD Holdings
  • Mike Sweet: Chief People Officer – Parrott Analytics
  • Richard Waggott: Deputy Chief Executive – Department of Corrections
  • Mark Daldorf: Head of People and Capability – Airways, New Zealand
  • Susan Lowe: Chief People and Sustainability Officer – Fuel50
  • Kate Daly: Managing Director, People and Culture – Fonterra
  • Merran Anderson: GM People and Culture – Healthcare Holdings
  • Jo Fair: Co-Founder – FutureWork Studio
  • Michelle McBride: Leadership Advisor – New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Rachael Regan-Paterson: GM People and Performance – Fletcher Construction
Supply Chain Management
  • Dave Christie: Supply Chain Strategy Director – Tainui Group Holdings
  • Deena Clarkson: Chief Executive Officer – CODA Group
  • Simon Dedman: Managing Director – Kuehne+Nagel
  • Anne Dunne: General Manager Supply Chain – Air New Zealand
  • James Feeney: Managing Director – Alignment Consulting
  • Reinhold Goeschl: Independent Director – TradeWindow
  • Aaron Greene: COO – Toll Holdings
  • Deborah Howarth: Director Industry Engagement – NZDF
  • Charles Lott: National Manager, Equipment and Logistics – Fire and Emergency NZ
  • Andrea Manley: General Manager Strategy and Innovation – Napier Port
  • Liz May: Chief Executive Officer – ShopCare
  • Chloe Surridge: Group General Manager, Airports – Air New Zealand
  • Suzanne O’Leary: Director – January Group
  • Boyd Piebenga: Director Supply Chain – KPMG
  • Jonti Rhodes: General Manager Supply Chain, Facilities, Sustainability – Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
  • Louise Wood: Chief Supply Chain Officer – Sanford Ltd

Learn more about the programme at NZ’s leading Business School – talk to our team today:

”Noah Ghebremichael
Noah Ghebremichael
Senior Business Development Manager
Phone number: +64 27 3648737

”Dave Evers
Dave Evers
Business Development Manager
Phone number: +64 22 1881150