Management profiles | Blackmores

Management profiles

Alastair Symington

Alastair Symington

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Alastair is a global business leader and brand builder with more than 23 years of consumer goods experience in beauty, health, and grooming having worked at Coty, Nestle, Gillette, Procter & Gamble and Coty across multiple geographies.

He has an extensive sales and marketing background in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) category, with a successful focus on new product development and innovation. He has a proven track record of achieving significant sales growth throughout the Asian region, particularly in China.

Alastair has a Bachelor of Economics and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business (Asian Studies) from Monash University. While living and working in Shanghai, Alastair took the opportunity to study Mandarin.

Alastair has a personal passion for wellness and holistic health, and is driven by a firm determination to meet the needs and demands of consumers in this continually evolving category.

Outside of the office, he is a keen cyclist, skier and surf sports enthusiast with an interest in sports nutrition.

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Marcus C Blackmore AM ND, MAICD, D Univ, D Litt

Executive Director

Mr Blackmore has served on the Board since October 1973. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Southern Cross University for distinguished leadership in complementary medicines in Australia and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western Sydney University for his distinguished services to business, charity and the broader community.

Mr Blackmore is an honorary trustee of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), an Alumnus of Harvard Business School, and an Honorary Fellow of the Heart Research Institute.

Marcus Blackmore held the position of Chairman up to 28 February 2017 and on 20 March 2019 was announced interim Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 April 2019 (view announcement).

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Adjunct Associate Professor Lesley Braun

Director, Blackmores Institute

Passionate about growing the evidence-base for complementary medicine, Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Lesley Braun is a distinguished academic, pharmacist and naturopath. She leads our research and education centre of excellence, the Blackmores Institute, and in 2018 was named the CEO Magazine's Health & Pharmaceutical Executive of the Year.

Never one to compromise her ethics, Lesley was attracted to Blackmores’ unrivalled reputation for quality, joining us in 2014. She believes that making better healthcare available to all is a matter of social justice, which goes hand-in-hand with educating the public and medical profession about natural medicine options to really improve people’s lives. A regular presenter at health symposiums across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, Lesley says: ‘As a researcher, it’s very exciting to be able to develop new treatments and explore better ways of using existing ones. Building the evidence base so more people can benefit safely is the dream of academics in healthcare.’

In her spare time, Lesley is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (Western Sydney University) and has held research positions at The Alfred Hospital, Monash University. She is a member of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s Complementary and Integrative Therapies Group Executive, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Australia-China Business Council Health and Medical Research working group. She is also on the advisory committees for nutrition courses at Endeavour College and the Think Group. She is the main author of four best-selling textbooks including Herbs and Natural Supplements – an evidence based guide and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Advances in Integrative Medicine. 

 Must-have health and wellbeing fix: Getting into nature is my go-to therapy for the body and soul. Also, I was proudly vegetarian for twenty years before adding oily fish into my diet ten years ago for the Omega-3 health benefits.

Life outside of work: At work and in my personal life I love adventures and seek opportunities for personal growth. I try to make sure there is meaning and purpose behind everything I do and surround myself with people who have similar values.

 

Aaron Canning

Chief Financial Officer

Aaron is responsible for the financial health of our business, bringing a wealth of experience gained from leadership positions in ASX-listed and multi-national organisations across the globe. Having lived and worked in Asia for 15 years before joining Blackmores in 2014, Aaron was attracted to our international growth and long-standing company values. 

As CFO he takes great pride in our employee profit share scheme which rewards all permanent staff no matter their role with a twice-yearly bonus based on the company’s performance. He says, ‘Blackmores believes we are only as good as our people. Profit share, started by our founder Maurice Blackmore, is our way of saying thank you to our employees for helping make the business a success and achieving financial growth. It’s a great motivator for everyone.’

Before Blackmores, Aaron worked in several leadership roles for Goodman Fielder (including Managing Director Asia Pacific), Westfield and Diageo. A qualified accountant, he holders a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Management and Postgraduate First Class Honours in Management, and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a member of Chartered Accountants Association of Australia and NZ, and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2016 Aaron was named CEO Magazine’s CFO of the Year – Runner-Up.

Why Blackmores? My grandmother was a passionate herbalist and a woman ahead of her time who taught me that there are many successful natural alternatives to pharmaceutical medicine. I was excited to join a values-based iconic Australian company leading the natural health industry movement domestically and growing internationally.

Must-have health and wellbeing fix: Balance is key – I have a young family who keep me active, however I know it’s also important to take some time out for myself. I love the outdoors – especially in, on and under the water – and nothing beats a family camping trip!

Life outside of work: I’m an avid handyman and ‘fixer upper’ with limited skills and ability. My dream project is to restore a classic 60’s era American convertible car, which one day I hope to take my two daughters to their weddings in!  

 

Cecile Cooper

Company Secretary & Director of Corporate Affairs

Cecile is extremely proud of sustainability and good governance at Blackmores, championing both throughout her 30-year career with us across several senior roles. As Director of Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, Cecile is responsible for sustainability, risk and compliance, corporate communications, Board administration and Secretariat.

As one of Blackmores’ longest serving employees, Cecile knows the business inside out. Over recent years, she has been especially passionate about embedding sustainability across the business, explaining that ‘Our founder Maurice Blackmore knew that you can’t have healthy people without a healthy planet and this still underpins everything we do today. However, it’s important to realise that sustainability extends beyond minimising our carbon footprint to sourcing responsibly, leading industry change and improving overall wellbeing for everyone.’

Cecile is a Chartered Secretary and a Certified Practicing Accountant. She has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves on the Governance Institute of Australia’s Legislation Review Committee. Always one to give back, Cecile is the Chairman of CCNB Limited and her community work was recognised with a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2015. 

Why Blackmores? Growing up, my family’s health solutions were most often found in the local health food shop and Blackmores products were our first choice. Finding health solutions from nature just feels right to me and it’s exciting to work for a company that I have always trusted.

Must-have health and wellbeing fix: My family is heavily involved in the local surf lifesaving club and there’s nothing like walking by the ocean to rejuvenate and clear the mind.

Life outside of work: I love a good road trip with my family exploring our beautiful country. Over the last few years this has included visiting Kangaroo Island in South Australia and driving across the remote Nullarboor Plains. Experiencing extreme temperatures of 45+ degrees and the needs of remote and rural communities drove home my awareness of the challenges facing our environment and the need for us to act to reduce our footprint.

 
 

Jeremy Cowan

Chief Operations Officer

Jeremy oversees our technical day-to-day operations, which is no small feat considering Blackmores’ presence in 17 markets across Asia-Pacific. Passionate about planning, he is responsible for our end-to-end supply chain across manufacturing, logistics and procurement which includes our export business to China.

Raised on farm with food straight from the paddock and herbal cures from his grandma’s garden, Jeremy was attracted to Blackmores’ strong natural health purpose. A successful triathlete who completed his first full Iron Man race in Cairns in 2018, he says: ‘You only get one body, and one chance at life. I have always believed in natural solutions as being the best. I love what the Blackmores brand stands for and I’m proud of its 85-year Australian heritage which has stood the test of time.’

Prior to joining Blackmores in 2018, Jeremy was the Asia-Pacific Procurement Director of Nando’s and before this enjoyed a 20-year career with Mars Inc. in various supply chain and procurement leadership roles in both Australia and the US. He has a Bachelor of Business from Deakin University, and has served on various boards and business committees in Victoria.

Why Blackmores? I love that natural health can bring benefits to everyone and it’s exciting to be a part of a movement that inspires better health and wellbeing.

Must-have health and wellbeing fix: Running, riding, swimming, kayaking and generally being active – I’ve competed in many long distance multisport and triathlon events over the years and love the mental and physical feeling of being at my peak level of fitness.   

Life outside of work: My wife and I love the responsibility that comes with educating our three children about the importance of being mentally and physically fit.

 

Jane Franks

Chief People Officer

Passionate about people and making a difference, Jane is an accomplished human resources leader with 20 years of experience in the financial services and consumer products sectors. She prides herself on building strong organisational cultures, improving leadership capability and optimising business performance through having the right talent in the right roles.   

Growing up in the USA and Europe but long settled in Sydney with her husband and two young children, Jane loves working for an iconic Australian brand like Blackmores, where she has been our Chief People Officer since 2018. She says: ‘Blackmores is a truly purpose-led organisation and the health and wellness industry presents many exciting growth opportunities. I think improving the accessibility and understanding of natural health solutions will fundamentally change the future of our world for generations to come.’

Jane was previously HR Director for Diageo Australia and before that held senior HR roles with Westpac Group and BT Financial Group. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Business/Commerce and membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Human Resources Institute.

Why Blackmores: Blackmores is a truly purpose-led organisation. Improving the accessibility and understanding of natural health solutions will fundamentally change the future of our world for generations to come.

Must-have health and wellbeing fix: Pilates is an absolute game-changer for me.

Life outside of work: I love spending time in the great outdoors with my family playing backyard cricket and soccer and swimming in the ocean.

 

Peter Osborne

Managing Director, Asia

Peter is a former Australian trade diplomat with extensive experience in business development, sales and marketing, trade development, and export and investment facilitation and promotion.

He is responsible for Blackmores’ Asia business, including subsidiary companies in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, China and Japan; joint venture Kalbe Blackmores Nutrition in Indonesia; distribution partnerships including Vietnam, Cambodia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia; and overall strategy for Blackmores’ growth objectives in Asia.

Prior to joining Blackmores in 2009, Peter was one of Australia’s most senior trade diplomats working with the Australian Trade Commission in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He also spent several years in Fiji as the Trade and Investment Director of the South Pacific Forum Secretariat and served as Expert Adviser to the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Commission for Sustainable Development.

Peter has lived and worked in Asia for nearly 30 years and speaks Mandarin-Chinese. Peter is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors, and the first foreigner to be appointed as Honorary Vice Chairman of the China Association for Quality Inspection (CAQI) in Beijing.

Brett Winn

Chief Information Officer

Dedicated to all things digital, Brett has more than 25 years’ experience delivering innovative, customer-obsessed technology solutions and operational efficiencies across a range of industries throughout Asia-Pacific. Joining Blackmores in 2016, he was named The CEO Magazine's Chief Information Officer of the Year 2018.

Brett is a true champion of company culture and a big believer in harnessing technology to achieve best-in-class results for everyone. ‘Blackmores is one of the few Australian vitamin companies taking its natural health expertise to the world, thinking beyond the bottle to roll out online multi-language education services and ways of connecting like-minded global communities. I know that we can gain real outcomes by living healthier empowered lives and I’m excited to help drive this modern wellness movement.’

Previously Brett was CIO at Medibank, where he created leading telehealth and population health initiatives. He’s also held executive IT positions at CitiPower, PageGroup, Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Worldgroup, and has an MBA from the University of Technology, Sydney. 

Why Blackmores: It aligns to my desire to feel good about what I do, by progressing my career with a company that genuinely wants to help people live better lives and also has a strong track record of corporate social responsibility.

Must-have health and wellbeing fix: I love hitting the ski slopes whenever possible, but otherwise go to the gym and generally eat well. I know it’s important to look after myself both physically and mentally, no matter how big or small the effort might be.

Life outside of work: I chase after three young children and enjoy every minute of being a sports taxi service, which also allows me plenty of time to indulge a long held passion for loud 80s & 90s rock music, much to the total embarrassment of my kids in the back seat.