Icebreaker leadership change

The big news in New Zealand last week was Rob Fyfe’s appointment as new CEO of Icebreaker. As Jeremy Moon takes a step back from the company he founded in 1994, for the first time in the brand’s history someone else can call the big shots.

The streets are littered with companies founded on the passionate personal ideals of the men and women who created them; only to have lost their way when new management came in. (Must not mention Pumpkin Patch again. Must not mention Pumpkin Patch again.) Then every so often there are true business gems, those great companies that become even greater when new leaders take the reigns.

As the brand grows and management requires ever-greater returns, will the Icebreaker story – effectively Jeremy Moon’s story – still retain its founding principles without its Founding Principal? …

Shane Warne’s Moa beer vs Sean Combs Ciroc vodka

Australia’s favourite larrikin Shane “Warney” Warne has just undergone another transformation. This time he is doing his bit for trans-Tasman relations as a craft beer connoisseur with his own label, 99 Not Out, made in partnership with New Zealand brewers Moa.

The pale ale is exclusive to Australia and will be sold through the vast Woolworths’ Dan Murphy network as well as a number of pubs in the ALH Group, also 75 per cent owned by Woolworths.

Whether you love or hate Warney, it’s a clever move by Moa and a big, loud relaunch into Australia. It is also part of a growing trend of companies seeking more rewarding and elaborate celebrity partnerships over traditional sponsorships. Instead of fronting the cash, brands put the celebrity in charge of sales generation and with luck both parties are rewarded nicely for it…