WorkSafe New Zealand Board Chair Jennifer Kerr has announced the appointment of Sharon Thompson as WorkSafe’s new Chief Executive.

“Sharon has extensive public and private sector experience leading business transformation programmes and building highly engaged teams to overcome challenges and deliver results,” says Jennifer Kerr. “Sharon is well placed to drive the delivery of WorkSafe’s new strategy and operating plan, which sets out how we will undertake our role as Aotearoa New Zealand’s primary work health and safety regulator.”

Sharon will join WorkSafe from her current role as Executive Director, Transformation and Operational Delivery, at the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) where she leads the operations and capability functions. Previously, Sharon was at Inland Revenue, where she led a nation-wide customer facing and operations team through a major transformation as Deputy Commissioner, Customer and Compliance Services.

[image] Photo of Sharon Thompson
Incoming WorkSafe Chief Executive, Sharon Thompson

“It’s an honour to have been appointed as WorkSafe’s Chief Executive,” says Sharon Thompson. “I look forward to the privilege of working with the WorkSafe team, and with government and sector partners, businesses and workers, iwi, unions, and everyone who can help influence better health and safety at work in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Jennifer Kerr says interim Chief Executive Steve Haszard has completed the priority tasks he was brought in by the Board to undertake. “I’m grateful for Steve’s clear and decisive leadership during a challenging time. WorkSafe now has improved financial discipline and a new strategy with a targeted focus on serious risk and harm. Under Sharon’s leadership, WorkSafe will continue to influence businesses and workers to better manage those risks, reduce harm and deliver better health and safety outcomes for all.

Steve’s last day will be Friday 12 July, and Sharon’s start date will be confirmed shortly. WorkSafe’s Deputy Chief Executive Operations Kane Patena will be Acting Chief Executive in the interim.

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