A sad farewell to an inspirational leader

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A sad farewell to an inspirational leader

Vodafone_Russell-Hewitt

Whilst today’s announcement was a big win for Vodafone & Hutchison, so too was it a big loss.  In all my career, I’ve never met such an inspirational leader as our [now former] CEO, Russ Hewitt.

Yes, there are many great business men out there, but finding such a great business man that has – and displays – the degree of genuine compassion for the people around them, as Russ does, is very rare indeed.

So it really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me, that I was pretty choked when I read his final farewell (below).  For me, it summed up the man who brought maturity to the business, whilst maintaining it’s up-beat, passionate and straight-up values – or, as the Vodafone Values say: Red, Rock Solid & Restless.

WELL DONE, THANKYOU & ALL THE BEST.  You’ll be sorely missed but fondly remembered. 🙂

Well team this will be my final communication as CEO of this great business.
In almost four years in the role I feel deeply privileged to have had the opportunity of being involved with such a vibrant, energetic, and fantastic company. Most importantly I have been surrounded in every part of the company by wonderful, talented and dedicated people. You are simply awesome as you have performed brilliantly in the market, and supported me personally in every endeavour we have together undertaken.

As I reflect on the many highs, and a few lows, a lot of laughter, an occasional tear, and world class achievements in a ferociously competitive market, my lasting takeaway will be the spirit, attitude and values of you our people. Many organisations falter and disintegrate under intense pressure, change, and uncertainty. We have together dug deep supported each other, cared more, displayed true workplace mateship, kept kicking goals and this indeed is rare and something very special you can be proud of.

In putting together a few personal things I have found heaps of photos around the “Celebrating You ” program that are such a memory of our people. Great, classy, crazy experiences that have galvanised us to a higher level and we sure have had some great fun.

To my Exec team, GM’s and Business Leaders, you have lead this company over the last few years in way that all can flourish. You are great leaders who give of yourselves, as we should in these privileged positions, but you are a powerful force and any company would be fortunate to have you.

To the wonderful Genia, and those special few who know who they are and who have been my closest support, travel mates, and confidants, you are superb and their are no adequate words to describe my admiration for your very personal support.

My strong desire as we all move on to different pastures is that you continue to “go for it” with that legendary passion that is us, go after your dreams and those things important to you and yours relentlessly. Find the good in everything, find happiness and pleasure in your life’s journey and as always continue to enhance your “Personal Brand ” for yourself and those around you.

As Helen and I start another exciting chapter of our lives on both sides of the Tasman, getting us closer to family and old friends we will have a vault of terrific memories from our time here at Voda Aussie.

Lastly, make no mistake I will miss this terribly. I have always been made to feel welcome throughout the company and many thanks for such a wonderful suite of leaving events, the very kind words written and spoken, and an immensely humbling send off that will remain with, and be endlessly special to me.

Its truly been a pleasure and my best wishes to you all
Go well
Cheers Russ
Russell Hewitt .
Chief Executive Officer
Vodafone Australia

Jennie Bewes
Jennie Bewes
Former Australian Financial Review columnist, speaker and founder/MD of REDSQ innovation & consulting, Jennie Bewes has been a driving force of innovation within global brands for the past 20 years blending strategic marketing, design and development with cultural change for optimal results from the inside out.

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