Johnstone Succeeds Feisst as CEO of GHL

GHL chief executive Matt Feisst has moved back to the private sector and handed the reins to his financial controller Tracey Johnstone.

“I am sad to be moving on,” says Mr Feisst. “However, I have been involved with the public sector for 10 years now and got to a point where things here at GHL are on a high and moving forward. I feel it is set up to succeed. It is well placed to continue to subsidise Council’s infrastructure requirements now and into the future.”

Under Mr Feisst’s guidance, a base was established, and assets successfully transferred from Gisborne District Council to GHL and a number of systems set up to ensure profitability for the future for the organisation’s sole shareholder, GDC.

“It has been a heck of a challenge to get GHL to this point but I am very proud of what my team have achieved. I can leave knowing everything is in a good situation and ready to capitalise on growth opportunities as they arise.”

He paid tribute to the staff, contractors and suppliers who are behind GHL.

“They are a great group of people who support us to succeed.”

And he extended a big thank you to the GHL board – both past and present – who had been a great support.

“They set a strong commercial direction while allowing the set-up of a collaborative inclusive culture for GHL staff to thrive in.”

Ms Johnstone joined GHL as financial controller last year, after many years offshore, including nine with international banking giant HSBC. Her last position was at director level as Global Head of Business Finance for Global Banking partnering product teams with a combined revenue of around $5 billion. But she headed home to New Zealand keen to reclaim a little Kiwi lifestyle balance.

Mr Feisst said Ms Johnstone’s vision was a perfect fit for GHL.

“After working for companies where you are just a cog, it is refreshing to be part of one where every decision made has an impact on the community through the money we give back to Council,” she says.