Paul Howes, Australian Workers Union boss, resigns
Paul Howes, the boss at the Australian Workers Union for the past seven years, will step down this July. In a statement to the press, he confirmed that he had been thinking about the next step in his life and career, and that it was not an easy decision to make.
"I know my decision may come as a surprise. But I was elected to this role seven years ago, at 26 years of age. I left school at 14, and commenced full-time work in the union movement at 17,” said Howes, indicating that it was time to move on to something new and different. Although he seems ready for a change, he does not regret his time with Australian Workers Union.
“I will cherish my membership ticket to my last day.”
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The high-profile unionist is said to be looking into a job in the corporate sector. Many believe this is influenced in part by his relationship with partner and Qantas executive Olivia Wirth, to whom he is currently engaged.
Although he has made it clear to numerous accounts that becoming a member of Parliament has never been his priority – and is not the reason at the current time for his resignation – many are skeptical. There’s very little question that federal politics are in his vision for sometime in the future, but Howes has made it clear that is not the current motivation.
Politicians like Federal Minister Christopher Pyne and Labour MP Rob Mitchell have given Howes their stamp of approval, with many others saying they’d welcome him with open arms.
"He certainly has a lot more ideas about the future of Australia and what needs to be done about policy than the current crop of people who represent the Labor Party in Canberra," Pyne told reporters.
Others has speculated that he wants to work for a few years earning a better salary, or that perhaps he wants to put a little distance between his trade union career and his potential move into politics.
Colleagues noted Howes’ frustration earlier this year with the labour movement’s unwillingness to modernize. Although Howes recommended a “grand compact” on workplace relations between businesses and unions, the suggestion mainly fell on deaf ears. Howes credits the current IR system a part of the reason the bounce back of the economy has been so sluggish.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 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.”