Cathy O'Sullivan
Editor-in-Chief APAC

New Zealand’s CIO50 2023 winners honoured at celebration evening

Nov 15, 20235 mins
IDG Events
The top three in CIO50 for 2023, Nicholas Fourie, Angela Nash and Simon Kenne
Credit: Supplied

New Zealand’s most impactful technology executives and their teams have been acknowledged at the 2023 CIO50 Awards.

The CIO50 Awards program celebrates the achievements of the top senior technology and digital executives in New Zealand who are driving innovation, rapid change, building great cultures, and influencing leadership teams across their organisations. 

The CIO50 2023 List was unveiled at an exclusive, invite-only event in Auckland on Wednesday night.

Nicholas Fourie

The number one ranked CIO for 2023, Nicholas Fourie.


Nicholas Fourie, Vice President ICT at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, took out the CIO50 top spot for 2023.  Over the past two years, Fourie and his team have undertaken 38 large-scale strategic digital projects, aligning with the company’s sustainable growth strategy. Under his guidance, ICT has become a driving force in the organisation, contributing significantly to F&P Healthcare’s success and positioning the company as an industry leader in digital transformation and inclusive workplace practices.

Ranked No. 2 in this year’s CIO50 list is Angela Nash, former Chief Information and Technology Officer at NZ Rugby. Among the many initiatives Nash and the NZ Rugby technology team delivered included the launch of a data centre of excellence, a new fan engagement system, an integrated Teams in Black app, a new OTT/streaming platform NZR+ and a Roblox activation, that all run off a completely re-architected and re-built data warehouse and SSO solution.

And coming in No. 3 on the 2023 list is Simon Kennedy, Chief Digital Officer at Foodstuffs North Island. Kennedy and his team were recognised for the innovative solutions they delivered to keep the business and stores operational in the wake of three destructive weather events – the East Cape Cyclone Hale, followed by the Auckland floods and then finally Cyclone Gabrielle. The impact of these provided an early post-Covid reminder that the grocery industry is an essential service in the lives of New Zealanders.  The technology team were front and centre in FSNI’s response to each of these events, using the cumulative learnings from innovations developed through Hale and the Auckland floods to underpin a decisive response to Gabrielle.

The rest of the top 10 in the CIO50 included Fred Laury, Chief Digital Officer, Entain; Ruth Russell, Chief Information Officer, Te Tumu Paeroa;  Steve James, Head of Technology, Woolworths NZ; Shayne Tong, Chief Digital Officer, Foodstuffs South Island; Michael Oulsnam, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, University of Canterbury; Brian Northern, Chief Information Officer, Fulton Hogan, and Christopher Laing, Chief Technology Officer, Qrious.

See the full CIO50 New Zealand 2023 list.

Next CIO winner

Rudo Taqwireyi

Rudo Taqwireyi, Next CIO winner 2023.


Three emerging ICT leaders were selected as finalists in the inaugural Next CIO category. This award recognises rising stars in ICT roles who are on the pathway to senior leadership. The Next CIO winner is an individual who is exceeding expectations and helping drive innovation through their organisation. 

The finalists in this category were Anil Anna, Head of IT, Barfoot & Thompson; Rudo Tagwireyi, Director of Connectivity, Digital Security and Risk, University of Canterbury, and Sandra Whitehead, Senior Manager – IT Governance, Partners Life.

The judging panel said while all finalists had submitted standout entries and all will likely rise to senior tech leadership roles in the future, there could only be one winner. Rudo Tagwireyi was selected as the Next CIO winner 2023. The judges said that Tagwireyi has made a significant impact on the University of Canterbury.

“Among the impressive pool of finalists, all showcasing tremendous potential to ascend to senior tech leadership roles in the near future, Rudo Tagweryi emerges as our Next CIO 2023 winner. Rudo clearly demonstrates the ability to strategize, lead and influence outcomes in a complex environment.  Leading the organisation from being in fire-fighting mode to establishing proactive mitigations, and establishing some key partnerships to do this, has no doubt had a significant impact on University of Canterbury.  Her achievements also demonstrate high maturity in how to effect change, using learning and education to drive a cultural shift.”

CIO50 NZ celebration

Some of the CIO50 New Zealand 2023 cohort gathered together with Editor-in-Chief Cathy O’Sullivan at the celebration evening in Auckland. 


The CIO50 is part of a global awards program by Foundry. The entries were judged by an independent judging panel made up of former CIO50 winners, industry analysts, business consultants and academics.

Cathy O'Sullivan
Editor-in-Chief APAC

Cathy O’Sullivan is Editor-in-Chief APAC for CIO and CSO. Based in Auckland, Cathy has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for almost two decades in newsrooms in New Zealand and Europe. She has a keen interest in emerging and disruptive technologies.

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