Rob Campbell—BA 1972, BA(Hons) 1974
Rob Campbell is a professional business director and an advocate for more equitable and responsible practices in business management.
Mr Campbell trained as an economist at Victoria University of Wellington and went on to lecture there and at Massey University. After joining the union movement in the 1970s and rising to senior leadership roles, he became a member of the Labour Party executive and was subsequently offered a directorship of New Zealand Post, which was the beginning of a new career as a professional director.
Mr Campbell has held many directorships over the course of a 30-year career in investment management and corporate governance. Currently, he chairs the boards of Skycity Entertainment Group, Summerset Group Holdings, Tourism Holdings, and WEL Networks. He is a director of a number of other companies, and is also the owner and director of Tutanekai Investments. In recent years, he has overseen the successful listing of retirement village operator Summerset Group, transforming it into one of the leading organisations in that industry. In a similar vein, Tourism Holdings more than doubled its earnings in the first three years of his tenure as chair.
As well as significantly improving these companies’ financial performance, Mr Campbell has become an outspoken critic of some of the systemic problems he sees in corporate governance, including a lack of diversity on boards and the need for directors to become more actively involved in the management of businesses. He has taken significant steps to address these issues in the businesses with which he is involved, and his public advocacy earned him the Beacon Award for business leader of the year in 2017 from the New Zealand Shareholders Association, who applauded his willingness to speak out on issues “without fear or favour”. In the same year, he was recognised as Chairperson of the Year in the Deloitte Top 200 Awards.