Chair since: 2011
Groups: TEC 40, KEY 123

View Stephen O'Keefe's profile on LinkedIn

TEC CEO Mentor Stephen OKeefeNo institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings – Peter Drucker.

Stephen is a Commerce Graduate who has significantly grown businesses in a career which has spanned a wide range of industries. He now consults to a range of business on marketing and distribution development.

His career commenced in public accounting with Pricewaterhouse Coopers followed by 10 years with The Shell Company of Australia Ltd. One of his major roles at Shell was the CEO of a national fuel distribution operation with remote distribution points delivering over 50m litres pa to customers throughout Australia.

At Wesfarmers Ltd he held the position of Sales & Marketing Manager in the Rural Division. The business was expanded to the east coast and this development became the basis for the growth of Wesfarmers Rural outside of its WA base.

During his 10 years at the privately owned Peters and Brownes Group he lead the development of the group from a WA only business to a national business with a range of ice cream and dairy products.

His team managed and developed the Cadbury Ice Cream range of novelty and take home ice cream products for all major distribution channels to a business of $100m retail sales in 8 years.

As CEO for Kailis Pearling – the 2nd largest pearl producer and marketer in Australia, Stephen lead the development in licensed branded pearl sales nationally and internationally and the expansion of the pearling farming operations. As an integrated business from hatchery to farming/seeding/ grading/wholesale and retail sales this $30m business competed successfully across international market.

Business aspects and criteria that can best offer advice on:

Marketing, new business development and business structure

Professional memberships / Board positions:

AICD, AIM, board member Southseas Abalone Ltd – current, former Chairman Water Polo WA – 2011 – 2014, former board member Cottesloe Golf Club – 2012 – 2014

A CEOs biggest challenge:

Remaining independent and yet connected at the same time.

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