Movers and shakers: CIO to CEO-plus: Rob Fyfe takes top role at Icebreaker

Movers and shakers: CIO to CEO-plus: Rob Fyfe takes top role at Icebreaker

Will help grow the brand into a ‘world class omni-channel business’

Rob Fyfe is now chief executive at merino wool apparel company Icebreaker.

Fyfe has been executive chairman of the board of Merino for the past nine months, working with founder Jeremy Moon to grow the brand into a “world class omni-channel business.”

Fyfe will start the role on June 2, and Moon will take the position of executive chairman and executive director.

“His proven strengths as a game-changing CEO will align perfectly with the global goals we’ve set forth as we move toward record growth in future years in an increasingly competitive landscape,” says Moon on Fyfe’s appointment.

Fyfe is one of the few chief executive officers with a CIO role on his CV. Fyfe was managing director of ITV Digital in London when he joined Air New Zealand in early 2003 as chief information officer. He became general manager of airlines in October that year and two years later was appointed chief executive. Fyfe was chosen after a global search for the replacement of Ralph Norris, who joined the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as chief executive.

Watch:Rob Fyfe on ‘making the leap from CIO to CEO’ and ‘fostering a customer-centric culture’

Related: CIO to CEO: Career advice from Rob Fyfe ‘The CIO can be an incredibly powerful position’ – the relentless pressures of the job are also opportunities to forge a great career and help the organisation outrank the competition.’

Rob Fyfe: The value of unfiltered feedback Former Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe talks about ways to foster a customer-centric culture - from answering the most difficult customer complaints, to working the night shift to get first-hand account of what is happening in the organisation.

“It was a big decision for me to hand over our business to another CEO, but I’ve seen Rob’s passion for what we are building at Icebreaker and I really admire his skills, especially with people. In the end, it was easy for me to put my total trust in Rob,” says Moon.

Over the years, Icebreaker has been evolving to become a multi-channel integrated business with 19 company-branded retail stores, over 4000 wholesale customers, direct e-commerce and over 400 employees worldwide.

Fyfe says he is looking forward to lead Icebreaker in the next stage of its evolution. “For the past 19 years, Icebreaker has truly excelled in establishing the merino wool category for outdoor apparel by leading exceptional product innovation while building the cleanest clothing company on the planet.”

In an interview with <i>CIO New Zealand</i> last year, Fyfe says his next role after Air New Zealand will not necessarily be in a large corporate.

“I would like to work with companies that have the potential and the aspiration and the self-belief that they can be world-class, based on a sense of a New Zealand identity,” said Fyfe. “Once I finish this year of recharge, then I will be looking for one of those opportunities.”

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