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Exclusive: Winston Fong leaves ICT for new VP role at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Exclusive: Winston Fong leaves ICT for new VP role at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

After 17-years focusing on ICT, Fong will lead the Surgical Technologies area of the business at F&P Healthcare.

Photo by Divina Paredes

Photo by Divina Paredes

It is essentially a General Management role leading a number of business areas, specifically with surgical products and technologies of F&P Healthcare

Winston Fong, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Winston Fong is leaving his VP ICT role at F&P Healthcare, to take on the newly-created role of VP Surgical Technologies at the company.

“I will be moving away from ICT leadership and focus on the development and implementation of the Surgical Group strategies, their product development plans, testing, manufacturing and marketing of products that improve medical practice and care and outcomes of patients, to achieve revenue and growth expectations,” says Fong.

F&P Healthcare designs, manufactures and distributes products and systems for Respiratory and Acute care, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Surgical care.

He will take on the new role next year, and will be assisting in the search for his successor, while getting to know the areas he will lead in the Surgical business.

“It is essentially a General Management role leading a number of business areas, specifically with surgical products and technologies of F&P Healthcare,” Fong tells CIO New Zealand.

The VP of ICT role includes ensuring reliable, effective and efficient systems and processes, and contributes to the organisation’s growth that targets doubling in size organically every five to six years.

Winston Fong, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

“I will continue managing the Informatics team that focuses on patient management, patient engagement and patient/product services, which utilise digital technologies including cloud, mobile, M2M, IoT and data,” he states.

Fong explains the VP ICT role is a global senior leadership role, based in New Zealand and reporting to the CEO.

He says F&P Healthcare is based in 36 countries and sell into 120, with ICT supporting over 3500 employees across 20 physical sites around the world.

The VP of ICT will manage more than 100 team members across areas including ERP, Data and Analytics/Business Intelligence, Service Management, Operations, Infrastructure, Cloud, Cyber Security, Enterprise Architecture, Project Services, Software Development and Integrations, Systems Development and Digital Services.

Career ascent

Fong joined F&P Healthcare as an intern, while completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics and Computer Engineering) at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

Over the following 17 years he has progressed through roles across technology and business management - starting as a Software Developer, to ICT Development Manager, to Group ICT Manager, until nearly six years ago, when he was appointed to Vice President ICT.

“ICT roles are a fantastic platform for other leadership and general management roles,” he says, when asked how his ICT background prepared him for leadership roles across the organisation.

“You work across the entire business value stream so gain a solid understanding across many facets of the business including procurement, warehousing, manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing,” he says. “Having that understanding helps you lead and support the business, its employees and customers, with processes and digital technology.”

“You naturally get involved with so much in ICT and with growth, continuous improvement initiatives at F&P Healthcare brings many great challenges,” says Fong, who completed his MBA at the University of Auckland.

These range right across leadership, strategic planning, business analysis, development, project management, organisational change management, operational management, incident management, relationship building and negotiation to supplier management.

“ICT is certainly a function where you need to be adaptable and are continually challenged with growth and demand,” he states.

“You need to be creative with original thinking to solve problems and need to stay ahead of the game. To make decisions on what will work best for the business with both evolving and disruptive technology. This is required to manage a business in a competitive and dynamic environment.”

He lists some of the roles and activities he has held and been involved with at F&P Healthcare, all of which helped him prepare for his upcoming post:

● Software development – Understanding the customer, building and increasing the customer experience.

● Systems development – Project management, architecture and design and negotiating with third parties for win/win outcomes.

● Operations – Continuous improvement with providing reliable, efficient, effective and uninterrupted services.

● Informatics – Listening and identifying customer needs and working through the desirability, feasibility and viability of solutions.

● Deployment of SAP – Leadership of large cross-functional teams across such a high-risk project.

● ICT Leadership – Strategic planning, supporting and developing the capability of team members

● Managing a cyber security incident – Risk management, investigations, corrective action and preventive action

Photo by Divina Paredes
Photo by Divina Paredes

This is a dream role for an individual who is energetic, passionate about people, working with an amazing team for one of New Zealand’s top organisations

Winston Fong, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

The search for a global, innovative leader

Fong shares the qualities that the company will look for as VP ICT.

First, he says, is the need for “original thinking”.

“You have to be a global, innovative leader and can do better than best practice,” he states.

This is a position for a person who “never settles, challenges the norm and is in relentless pursuit to do what is right and optimal for the business”.

He lists other traits that are useful for the role:

Read more: Leading edge advice for aspiring CIOs

● Builds and maintains the right culture and environment, which resonates company purpose and values to drive optimal outcomes.

● Links ICT strategy to F&P Healthcare’s strategy and direction. Ensures it is understood and embraced with true buy-in and belief.

● An engaging influencer and problem-solver, who can deliver results.

● Maintains ‘finger on the pulse’ of risks and issues (cyber, systems, data, legal, health and safety, compliance and so on).

● Has sound technical, digital transformation, commercial and business knowledge. Maintains understanding of the markets (technology, competitors, adjacent industries, suppliers) and determines how things may apply and add value.

● A leader who cares and places an emphasis on people, and the contribution that they make.

● Is adaptable, things will change so must be able shape the necessary business skills, soft skills and technical skills.

● Sound understanding of business value stream in relation to F&P Healthcare (procurement, warehousing, manufacturing, distribution, finance, sales and marketing, quality and regulatory, HR, site services).

The VP ICT has a wide range of responsibilities that include management and deployment of technologies across platforms including: SAP ERP, CRM, MES, QMS, PLM, Data, Reporting, Collaboration, Omni-Channel solutions, Mobile, Networking and Cloud.

The VP ICT will also help attract, recruit, retain and develop talent for current and future needs of a growing business.

The role also includes ensuring reliable, effective and efficient systems and processes, and contributes to the organisation’s growth that targets doubling in size organically every five to six years.

As well, he or she will build long-term business and technology strategies/objectives, create short and medium term business plans and manage their associated budgets and operations.

Vendor management is critical to the role, as well as building a network and long-term relationships with business partners.

“This is a dream role for an individual who is energetic, passionate about people, working with an amazing team for one of New Zealand’s top organisations,” he concludes.

He says further details and applications for the role can be found through the company careers site.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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