May 19, 2020

Andrew Penn, Brian Hartzer, Andrew Mackenzie: An Australian power trio

BHP Billiton
Tom Wadlow
2 min
Andrew Penn, Brian Hartzer, Andrew Mackenzie: An Australian power trio

This year’s league table of Australian brands produced by Brand Finance has seen a few movements inside the top 10, but only one company being displaced. Rio Tinto swapped places with Macquarie into 11th, with the usual suspects again appearing in the top 9.

Again at the summit is Telstra, with a massive brand value of almost US$11 billion, some $2.7 billion ahead of its closest challenger Commonwealth Bank.

The bosses of these top companies are ultimately responsible for maintaining these positions of business power, and we now take a look at the backgrounds of CEOs at three of the top 10 – Telstra, Westpac and BHP Billiton.

Andrew Penn, Chief Executive Officer, Telstra

Having served as CFO and Group Executive International, Andrew Penn became CEO in May 2015, and has overseen Telstra’s continuing rise in brand value. Penn has spent more than 30 years in and around the top of business, most notably with insurance giant AXA in the Asia Pacific region where he was CEO between 2006 and 2011. His leadership resulted in the company being sold to its parent for $10.4 billion in 2011.

Brian Hartzer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Westpac

Westpac is ranked seventh in Brand Finance’s most valuable Australian brands, holding a brand value of $5.8 billion.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer was appointed to these roles in February 2015, having joined the company in June 2012 as Chief Executive of Australian Financial Services. This role encompassed Westpac Retail and Business Banking, St George Banking Group and BT Financial Group.

Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer, BHP Billiton

Ranked the eight most valuable brand in Australia, mining giant BHP Billiton holds a brand value of $3.9 billion.

The company’s CEO is Andrew Mackenzie, an industry heavyweight with vast experience at some of the world’s largest mining and energy companies. Mackenzie joined BHP Billiton in November 2008 as Chief Executive Non-Ferrous, becoming overall CEO in May 2013.


To read the full version of this article, view the May issue of Business Review Australia

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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