Thursday, August 18, 2022

O’Sullivan resigns as SWAG director

Campaign for Wool chair Tom O’Sullivan has resigned from his position as a Strong Wool Action Group (SWAG) board director.

Tom O’Sullivan says the process and candidate selection for the new strong wool entity Wool Impact NZ does not go far enough to recruit independent thinking.

Campaign for Wool chair Tom O’Sullivan has resigned from his position as a Strong Wool Action Group (SWAG) board director.

O’Sullivan was a board member of the group that was tasked with devising a plan to lift the strong wool sector out of the doldrums.

While SWAG was disbanded in December, O’Sullivan remained as one of a four-strong transition team charged with appointing a board for the new wool industry entity, Wool Impact New Zealand.

The proposed new entity is the result of the SWAG’s 16-month project to find a way to reinvigorate the industry.

The purpose of Wool Impact NZ is to facilitate innovation, support demand growth and enable a unified voice for strong wool in NZ to grow existing and generate new demand for strong wool consumer brands, products and services.

The three remaining SWAG directors in the transition team are chair Rob Hewitt, David Ferrier and John Rodwell.

O’Sullivan cites his resignation as due to issues concerning the setup of the Wool Impact NZ board.

“I am a huge proponent for an independent and transparent recruitment process for this new board,” O’Sullivan said.

“In my opinion, the right process will ensure the newly appointed team have the thought leadership and innovative mindsets that will help solve some of the big challenges we are currently facing in the wool sector.

“Unfortunately, I feel the process and candidate selection for Wool Impact does not go far enough to recruit for new ideas and independent thinking.

“After much debate around these points, rather than be complicit in decisions I am not comfortable with, I feel it’s time for me to go.

“Resigning wasn’t an easy decision, but I feel my efforts are better served focusing squarely on the Campaign for Wool NZ strategy as we look to roll it out into global markets.”

O’Sullivan wished the new board well.

“I genuinely wish the very best to the new Wool Impact board and hope their appointment will support the delivery of better results for New Zealand wool,” he said.

“Our Campaign for Wool NZ trustee’s look forward to opening discussions with the new team in due course.”

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