Governance Bio
Mike Johnston
Appoint Professional

Mike Johnston

8 Years
Paid or Unpaid Roles

Interested In:


Private company
Incorporated Entity
Non Governmental Organisation
Iwi Organisation


Advisor / Advisory Board
Board Member
“CMInstD Institute of Directors Angel Assoc. NZ. I am widely experienced in general management from sales and marketing to operations and finance. Corporate & SME & NFP background, start-ups, and with SMEs in varying industries. I have strategic and practical mind, I'm commercially savvy, customer-centric and challenge the status quo”


Governance Roles

Chairperson and Trustee

Discovery Foundation Inc.

November 2010 - Present (7 years)

A small business with $300k turn-over as a charitable trust organisation, Discovery Foundation provides educational courses for New Zealanders, focussing primarily on children and teenagers. Currently the programme runs twice yearly with growth targets for over 1,000 participants per annum in 5 years. As a Director/Trustee there is a closer and more practical focus on the monthly operations and cash flow, ensuring the sustainability of the business while looking to execute a strategy to grow the business ten fold over the next 5 years. As Chair the core responsibility has been to recruit and select the right diverse team of Trustees to drive the business forward while providing prudent oversight. Also has a very practical reporting line with the GM.

Director (MD)

Canon New Zealand Limited

March 2009 - January 2012 (2 years)

Executive Director position (see also Country Manager role). Fully owned New Zealand subsidiary of Canon Inc. PTY, Listed on NYSE. NZ Assets $42m, revenue NZ$127m (2011); 250 employees; Compliant to Sarbanes Oxley (US), Environmental Standard ISO14001, OSH AS/NZS 4801 and ACC Tertiary Level. Additional responsibilities included Chair of HS&E committee for Canon Oceania Group, Statutory accounts execution, Chair of Audit Committee and member of regional remuneration committee.

Independent Trustee

Private Superannuation Fund

January 2009 - December 2011 (2 years)

Independent trustee of private superannuaton fund NZ$3.7M invested.

Director & Chair

Lamberts Business Systems

November 2008 - January 2012 (3 years)

Originally Director, then Chair of Lamberts Business Systems. LBS is a multifaceted IT systems integrator. Head office New Plymouth, branch in Palmerston North. LBS sells and services Casio, EFTPOS point-of-sale, Canon, SmartBoard, HP computers, printers and IT infrastructure, Nimbus accounting software, Infinity systems and IMS Payroll.

Executive Roles

Chief Executive Officer

Emergent & Co Limited

October 2014 - Present (3 years)

Formed in 2002, Emergent is a Executive Leasing, Contract and Permanent Resourcing company. It provides short and long-term, non-IT, Contractors as well as permanent management-level placements. Industry: professional services and recruitment. In less than three years expanded the company three-fold by entry into new regions, serving new sectors/industries and providing new services to clients.

Customer Care and Operations Build and Lead (Term contract)


July 2013 - August 2014 (1 years)

Tech start-up, Semble is a digital mobile consumer App, providing mobile electronic transactions for consumers, banks, loyalty services and the like. The Semble brand was successfully launched in March 2015. Amongst other functions, the role was primarily to negotiate with mobile companies and clients and build the service capability.

Head of Consulting - Business Strategists Simplifying Business

August 2012 - July 2013 (11 months)

A start-up consulting organisation working with Accountancy firms and SMEs in partnership with the BNZ. Co7 was a 'fast fail' venture. Head of Consulting: My role was to work with, and train a group of 10 consultants to work with, small businesses and deliver business consulting services which I compiled from corporate experience and training - extremely applicable to all business sizes (people, customers and turn-over) and industries.

Country Manager (Managing Director)

Canon New Zealand Limited

April 2009 - February 2012 (2 years)

Canon NZ is a $140m turnover company in NZ; the local arm of global top-140 company (Forbes), Canon Inc. Responsibilities encompassed all aspects of Canon people leadership, culture, Sales Achievement, number one market share success across consumer brands, customer service and satisfaction (94% customer recommend in B2B, 82% service satisfaction), brand health, budgeting and reporting, environmental and social responsibility (kyosei) as well as local governance (only NZ-based Director). ~~~~ 50% of revenue (82% of staff) is business-to-business (B2B) and dealership delivered IT Direct Sales and Service. Business automation technology, predominantly print, print management, software and photocopiers, but also includes visual/video communications services. Business customer base includes all NZ organisations from small business to corporate and government. Challenges include delivering complex SLA-driven IT service offerings in a highly competitive hardware orientated industry. ~~~~ 50% of revenue (18% personnel) is derived from personal and professional consumer electronics: camera, SLR, calculators, accessories, home / SOHO printers, and associated supplies (ink, paper and toner), with crucial and warranty and repair services. Sold with an FMCG approach to sell-through to the end-user / consumer via retail channels for both Canon brand / sub-brand and store preference over competition. Challenges include the ever-changing retail landscape and competition from traditional and non-traditional sources.

General Manager Customer Care (Chief Operating Officer)

Canon New Zealand Limited

June 2006 - March 2009 (2 years)

“Everything except sales and accounting” COO and CTO for all of Canon NZ’s nationwide service and operations (180 staff) including: Field Technical Service and contracted service levels thereof including outsourcing, daily operation and administration of 9 national branches (Auckland to Invercargill), Nationwide Camera bench repair services (SLA & P&L), Call centres, data entry, business administration and customer-facing functions, IT and Business Reporting Analysts, Internal warehousing and 3PL distribution, etc…

GM Customer Help (General Manager 24/7 Operations and Fault Response)


October 2003 - June 2006 (2 years)

150 staff, 24-hour operation. Managed and responsible for firstline fault diagnosis and repair to customer support functions, including Internet Helpdesks, Faults Departments, Service Assurance, Internal IT Helpdesk, Technical Contact Centre and field support vendors; customer demand management, and capacity management to service demands of all TelstraClear customer base and full product set. Annual budget 7.2M

Wholesale Operations Manager


October 2000 - October 2003 (3 years)

Responsible for inter-company relations between TelstraClear (formally CLEAR Communications) and Telecom and other competitors, including contract/service negotiation and management; Business development and sales in toll arbitrage business; also managed service delivery to wholesale customers with staff of 8; Commerce Commission relations once Telecommunications Regulator introduced;

Project Engineer / Business Consultant

CLEAR Communications Limited

October 1995 - October 2000 (5 years)

Owned and worked on hundreds of projects including network access and infrastructure builds and roll-out. Radio and fibre optic installations for network infrastructure and customer access. Responsibilities ranged from initial design and council consent applications through to contractor and personnel management. Moved from here into Sales and then newly created Wholesale Division


Angel Association of NZ

Governance for Angel Backed Companies, Governance

2016 - 2016

Institute of Directors

Leadership from the Boardroom, Governance

2015 - 2015

Institute of Directors

Chairing the Board, Governance CMInstD

2014 - 2014

Scrum Alliance

Scrum Master (a lean methodology for product development), Agile

2013 - 2013

International ICC - Ilume International (NZ)

Certified ICC Coach (pending), Performance Coaching

2012 - 2013

Institute of Directors

Governance Essentials (NFP), MInstD

2010 - 2010

Massey University

Bachelor Business Studies (BBS), Finance

2001 - 2005

NZIM Canterbury

Advanced Management Programme, Business

2003 - 2004

Auckland University of Technology

NZ Certificate In Engineering, Computer Technology & Telecommunications

1997 - 1999