High Altitude

Ross McEwan - Leadership and Turning Lemons into Lemonade

May 19, 2018

London based New Zealander who graduated from Massey University and passed through companies such as Unilever, Dunlop and National Mutual on his way to New Zealand chief executive for Axa at 40 years of age.  He moved to Commonwealth Bank in Australia, where he was widely tipped to take the top role, before shifting to the United Kingdom in 2012 to become head of retail banking for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Just a year later he became chief executive of the group taking on a role that was publicly described as a wince-inducing hospital pass. The now state owned Royal Bank of Scotland was a multi-billion-pound loss maker that had taken such a battering the State was forced to bail it out to the tune of 45 billion pounds. Its reputation was in tatters in both the UK and offshore. Just five years later, in 2017, our guest managed that business into its first operating profit since the bail out and is steadily rebuilding its brand image. It has been a daunting and massive restructure that would keep anyone awake at night.

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