All posts in CEO interviews

  • It’s all about context: Jon Williams at PwC

    Jon Williams

    Jon Williams is a Partner at PwC and the Global Leader of their People and Organisation Practice.

    Jon has spend the past 30 years applying a background in psychology and economics to help CEOs and leadership teams to  improve their organisational effectiveness. His large, geographically dispersed team (11,000 people across 125 countries) means Jon is generally a big advocate of hands-off leadership and looks to empower his employees to find their own strengths.

    This interview goes very broad, as we talk about government policy, education and the future of the workforce.

    Some highlights from the video include:

    • Jon’s opinion on the worst piece of common management advice: “I think the issue with management advice is that so much of it is definitive. So many people will tell you this is the right way to lead or this is the right way to run a change program, or this is the right way to run a certain type of organisation.” (Video from 1:25)
    • Jon’s view that you need to find an organisation that’s the right fit for your management style: “I do a lot of work with HR people, HR directors, and they’ll often ask me, ‘If the CEO isn’t really on-board, how do I manage that?’ And my advice is nearly always the same: find a different CEO. You can’t battle things that are out of your control.” (Video from 7:26)
    • The most unexpected workplace changes coming in the next 20 years: “Many organisations are too wrapped up in BAU, too wrapped up in three monthly financial result cycles, too wrapped up in the executive’s own careers and retirement horizon to do that planning process properly, which I think will be unfortunate for them down the track.” (Video from 11:33)
    • Changes to government policy Jon thinks will be most beneficial over the next 20 years: “What’s actually going to determine, I think, each nations success over the next 5, 10, 15 years, is the degree to which the creaking democratic political system are able to cope with a new reality.” (Video from 13:36)

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted; I’m here with Jon Williams from PwC, Jon thank you for joining us.

    Jon Williams: My pleasure.

    Steve Pell: Jon could you just start and tell me a little bit about what your role here at PwC involves, what’s your title?

    Jon Williams: Ah gosh, title is interesting. I’m Managing Partner of PWCs people business globally, so I’ve got a couple of jobs. I still work with clients. So I still work with leaders, CEOs and leadership teams around organisational effectiveness. And then in my spare time, I run our global People Organisation business, which is about 11,000 people across 125 or 126 countries around the world. Read more

  • The hands-on leader: Scott Stavretis at Acquire BPO


    Scott Stavretis is the CEO of Acquire BPO and was previously co-founder and COO of telecommunications company Dodo.

    Acquire BPO was established in 2005 to operate as a support centre for Dodo. Today, the company employs nearly 7,000 experienced professionals and operates from 12 locations in Australia, the Philippines, the US and the Dominican Republic.

    Scott is a serial entrepreneur. He started his first business when he was 16 (an ISP on the Mornington Peninsula), and has since founded or run 11 business.

    Highlights from the video include:

    • Scott is an advocate for hands-on leadership, and gets involved as much as possible: “I’m very much an advocate for hands-on leadership…The technology changes so quickly, business changes so quickly. You need to go back into each area and understand what the changes are otherwise you can’t have meaningful conversations about that area of the business..” (Video from 2:29)
    • Why Scott’s management team doesn’t have portfolio separation: “A lot of them are involved in not just Acquire BPO they may be involved in 1, 2, 3, 4 different businesses that I’m involved in. So that also keeps them very motivated, keeps them challenged, keeps them grounded as well. They’re always learning new things, and the right people absolutely love that and thrive on it.” (Video from 6:22)
    • Scott on why it’s so important to understand what drives your people as individuals: “You want them to go home proud… whatever it may be that gets their blood and adrenaline going. You want to tap into that, and you want to use all those positives to drive your business and help you.” (Video from 11:20)
    • How Acquire BPO have successfully expanded into Asia and the US: “What a lot of people do is fly a lot of expats around somewhere and go tell them to setup the same and replicate the same thing as you can in a foreign country. It doesn’t work.” (Video from 15:19)

    The video:

    The interview:

    Steve Pell: Hi, I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted, I’m here with Scott Stavretis from Acquire BPO. Scott thank you for joining us, could you just give us a brief intro to what the business does.

    Scott Stavretis: Absolutely. So Acquire BPO is a business process outsourcer.

    We specialise in delivering contact centre solutions and back-office solutions for our clients, whether they’re in Australia or the US. We have a team of resources in offshore locations such as Dominican Republic and the Philippines where we find the right people and deliver them to our clients.

    Read more

  • Be humble, be brave: Craig Tiley, CEO at Tennis Australia

    Management.Disrupted TA

    Craig Tiley is the CEO of Tennis Australia.

    Tennis Australia has overall responsibility for the promotion and development of tennis within Australia, including the marquee Australian Open. Last year’s Australian Open attracted over 1 million visitors, supported by over 9000 employees and support staff.

    Craig started his career as a tennis coach in South Africa and the United States, with a long history in administration of the sport culminating with his appointment as CEO of Tennis Australia in 2013.

    Highlights from the interview include:

    • Why Craig unilaterally imposed a set of values on the organisation when he was made CEO: “I said these are the things and the values that are important to me. And so we’re going to have this organisation adopt those values” (Video from 3:20 and 6:20)
    • How Tennis Australia builds a culture of teamwork in a sport that celebrates individual success (using some great examples of Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios) : “I think our product is two-folded, one it celebrates individual success, but also it does celebrate team success” (Video from 9:21)
    • Why Craig considers himself a feminist: “I’d consider myself someone that, I will advance the agenda of anyone that hasn’t had the same equal opportunities as me” (Video from 20:20)
    • Craig’s principles for effective communication across the organisation: “Listen, and you’ve got to be the best listener, that’s how you communicate best.” (Video from 21:31)

    The video:

    The interview:

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted; I’m here with Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia. Craig thank you for joining us, could you just tell us a little bit about what your role involves here?

    Craig: First of all it is good to be here Steve and have a chat about this. I am CEO of Tennis Australia, and that involves overseeing the entire business. And we are a business that not only delivers tennis in Australia but also responsible for all of our events, including our marquee event which is the Australian Open.

    Read more