New COO appointed at Southern Cross

Southern Cross Healthcare appoints new COO

Thursday , 12 May 2022 by Alaina McGregor

Southern Cross Healthcare has appointed Mark Stewart as Chief Operating Officer, completing the business’ programme to strengthen its executive leadership team.

Mr Stewart brings with him a wealth of expertise in developing innovative strategies within complex environments and leading business transformations. He joins Southern Cross from PwC, where he led the company’s engagement with national telehealth service Whakarongorau Aotearoa.

Prior to that role, Mr Stewart spent more than a decade working for NZ Post, including four years as the state-owned enterprise’s COO. There, he held operational and strategic leadership for more than 5,000 people and co-led the organisation’s transformation in supporting the growing demands of online retail.

Mr Stewart has also spent several years working in the UK and has completed a PhD in Management Science/Operations Research.

Southern Cross Healthcare CEO Chris White says Mr Stewart’s experience makes him the ideal choice for leading operational functions across the hospitals side of the business.

“Mark has a strong track record in leadership and change management within large-scale, complex environments, and these skills will be critical as Southern Cross Healthcare evolves into a more integrated healthcare system that offers consistently high-quality care,” he said.

“Mark is a proven customer and people-centred leader, capable of developing market-leading strategies and successfully implementing structural and operational change. We know he’s the right person to help our business continue innovating and delivering exceptional outcomes for our patients.”

Mr Stewart says he was drawn to Southern Cross Healthcare’s commitment to revolutionising private healthcare in New Zealand, particularly following his work alongside the country’s health sector through PwC.

“I’ve seen first-hand the importance of strong, functioning healthcare services in these challenging times, and I’m keen to build on this experience through a quality provider like Southern Cross Healthcare,” he said.

“The business has big ambitions to transform New Zealand’s private healthcare and I’m looking forward to bringing my operational experience to the table and help the team deliver on those goals.”

Part of the Southern Cross group of businesses that share a not-for-profit ethos, Southern Cross Healthcare comprises a nationwide network of joint venture and wholly owned hospitals; specialist centres; physiotherapy; rehabilitation; and employer health and wellness providers. Southern Cross Healthcare directly employs more than 2,500 staff across many services spanning Whangārei to Invercargill.

Mr Stewart will be joining Southern Cross Healthcare from 20 June 2022.