As a business leader Craig Cotton is very clear on what drives him in life. One of the most important elements can be summed up in his favourite Maori proverb.
He aha te mea nui o te a
What is the most important thing in the World?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.
This innate passion for people has been at the core of everything he has achieved in his career, spanning 20yrs in the FMCG industry across NZ, Australia and Asia Pacific Markets where he has excelled in sales, marketing and strategic leadership.
After a 17-year-stint working across sales, marketing, commercial, customer and people leadership both in NZ and the wider Asia Pacific region, Craig left Coca-Cola in 2012 to became the CEO of Charlie’s (now The Better Drinks Co.) - but not before getting Coca-Cola back into KFC / Pizza Hut, a personal goal Craig set himself during his first week at Coke those many years ago.
Craig is committed to learning and challenging both himself and others. He leads by placing Health and Safety at the fore of everything he does. He then understands and creates a high-performance culture, where team members are engaged to smash commercial goals and introduce new opportunities for growth through collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurial partnerships. Whether it’s winning the largest single commercial customer deal or creating strategic, scale-able pathways for growth – Craig is motivated by the challenge of business and is always striving to do more.
When he succeeded Stefan Lepionka at Charlies, he termed his role ‘Creating Exciting Opportunities’, implementing significant change with his team across the model, corporate identity, company name, purpose, values and expanded their manufacturing and warehousing.
Craig then went on to dual lead the Independent Liquor Business and more recently be involved in supermarket retail, investments and helping people and companies be better. Family plays an important role in his life, and when he’s not surfing or skating with Bria and Samuel, you’ll find him relaxing and enjoying good food, amazing wine with friends at the bach.
Craig is not your traditional speaker, he has a unique approach in working with you in assessing your ‘why’ and as such ignite your opportunities or help address the pain points directly. He then delivers greater engagement than simple inspiration from a traditional speaking engagement, he leaves you the ability to continue to nurture, grow and engage your team or clients moving forward.