Winning Group CEO


Winning Group CEO, John Winning, has been named the 2016 Retail Executive of the Year at a gala dinner held in Sydney.

Hosted by Eddie McGuire, The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards recognised 29 of Australia’s executives. The honours were spread across 24 categories and rewarded business leaders who had made a notable difference in the corporate world during the 2015/16 financial year.

Winning, who heads up kitchen and laundry appliance company Appliances Online, was recognised for the significant impact he has had on the retail industry through a focus on providing exceptional customer service.

It was the fourth time Winning had been recognised at the awards—he was named Retail Executive of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and Young Executive of the Year in 2012.

Speaking to Retailbiz Winning said he was honoured to win the award again. “I’m humbled…I think it’s an amazing credit to my team for the work they’ve put in over the past year,” he said.

Winning explained his company’s mission is to provide the best shopping experience in the world. This includes holding more stock than most, meaning there is a much higher likelihood a product will be in stock for next day delivery.

Appliances Online is also able to deliver to approximately 95 per cent of the Australian population with its own trucks and has warehouses across the country.

“A lot of it comes down to culture,” said Winning. “Some people think they can buy good customer service…but it’s the added extras you can’t put in writing that make all the difference.” This means “going beyond above and beyond” with 24/7 phone support and a team that cares about its customers.

“Like when a truck driver turns up at a customer’s house and treats it like his own,” said Winning. “That’s the stuff you can’t buy. As a CEO, my job is to not really do anything tangible, but to make sure I put the best leaders in place.”

Winning Group CEO

The night’s top honour, CEO of the Year, went to Stephen Cornelissen, group CEO of aged care provider Mercy Health. Since Cornelissen joined the not-for-profit organisation in 2011, Mercy Health has expanded its services nationally and continues to grow.

Chris Dutton, founder and CEO of The CEO Magazine, said picking a winner hasn’t got any easier since he started the awards in 2012.

“Wading and choosing your way through the finalists to pick a winner proves to be so difficult every year when we host these awards,” he said. “The quality, excellence and ability of these leaders is outstanding. They are all deserving recipients of these awards and we congratulate them.”

The winners were picked by an expert panel that included Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon; Scott Stavretis, CEO, Acquire BPO; Mark van Dyck, managing director APAC, Compass Group; John Karagounis, CEO, The CEO Circle; Chris Dutton, CEO, The CEO Magazine; and Daniel Di Loreto, managing director, The CEO Magazine.

A full list of winners:

Job Specific Awards

CEO of the Year: Stephen Cornelissen, Group CEO, Mercy Health

CEO of the Year (runner-up): Christine Holgate, CEO, Blackmores

CEO of the Year (highly commended): Nigel Garrard, Managing Director and CEO, Orora

Managing Director of the Year: Nathan Cheong, Managing Director, BioCeuticals

Managing Director of the Year (runner-up): Karen Stocks, Managing Director, Twitter Australia

Chairperson of the Year: Tina West, Chairperson, Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

Chairperson of the Year (runner-up): Rod Douglas, Chairman, Mr Rental

CFO of the Year: Michael Harvey, COO and CFO, Australian Radio Network

CFO of the Year (runner up): Aaron Canning, CFO, Blackmores

CIO of the Year: William Confalonieri, Chief Digital Officer and CIO and Vice President, Deakin University

CIO of the Year (runner-up): Simon Raik-Allen, Chief Technical Advisor, MYOB

HR Executive of the Year: Linda Redfearn, Head of Human Resources, Blackmores

Marketing Executive of the Year: John Arnott, Executive Director (Customer), ING Direct Australia

Sales Executive of the Year: Suzy Nicoletti, Head of Online Sales, Twitter Australia


Recognition Awards

Executive Assistant of the Year: Larissa Auditore, Executive Assistant to CEO and Managing Director, Insurance and Care NSW

Not-for-profit Executive of the Year: Anne Bryce, CEO, Achieve Australia

Start-up Executive of the Year: Lincoln Easton, CEO,

Young Executive of the Year: David Rohrsheim, General Manager ANZ, UBER


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