Sir Stephen Tindall

Since 1982, The Warehouse Has Risen From One Man’s Dream To A Formidable Retail Brand

Stephen Tindall
Sir Stephen Tindall

Sir Stephen Tindall
KNZM, Dip Mgt, FNZIM, HonD,
DCom, Honoris Causa



Current Positions Held: 

Chair of the Broadband Leadership ForumSince 2007 

Chair of Climate Change Leadership ForumSince 2006 

Founding Member of the New Zealand InstituteSince 2004 

Member, Growth & Innovation Advisory Board
Chair, Growth & Innovation Advisory Board
Since 2002 

Council Member of the World Business Council for Sustainable DevelopmentSince 2002 

Co Founder and Director of KEA (Kiwi Expat Association)Since 2001 

Founder and Trustee, The Tindall FoundationSince 1994 

Founder and Trustee, Alay Buhay Educational FoundationSince 1987 

Founder and Director, The Warehouse Group LtdSince 1982 

Previous Positions Held: 

Member, New Zealand Science & Innovation Council2000-2002 

Co Founder and Chairman, New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development2000-2004 

Member, Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council For P.M. Bolger & P.M. Shipley 1995-2000 

Managing Director, The Warehouse Limited1982-2001 

Merchandise Manager, George Court & Sons1979-1982 

Associate Director, George Court & Sons1979-1982 

Promotions Manager, George Court & Sons1975-1979 

Buyer, George Court & Sons1973-1975 

12 years with retailer George Court & Sons, a one hundred year old full line department store group.

In 1982 founded The Warehouse with one store and initial capital of $40,000. This was a private company until late 1994 when it floated on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Held the position of Managing Director until January 2001, when Stephen became known as the Founder. Following the resignation of Greg Muir as CEO of the Group, Stephen returned as Group CEO effectively from May 2003 to October 2004. The Warehouse Group now has 86 retail and 46 Warehouse Stationery stores in New Zealand. Market Cap $1.1 billion, sales in excess of $1.6 billion.

The company’s mission statement is “Where People Come First and Quality is Affordable” and it is through this management style of putting people first that The Warehouse has managed to grow at such a rapid rate. This philosophy reflects the five stakeholder approach: the customers, team members, suppliers, shareholders and the community. The Warehouse is a way of life for countless New Zealanders. We make a difference to people’s lives, especially family life, by making the desirable affordable.

The Tindall Foundation

Established to focus New Zealand on:

  1. Improving the performance of families and social services, and the downstream benefits that this will provide.
  2. Supporting community-based initiatives that create employment and encourage enterprise.
  3. Helping groups who want to care for their environment and preserve biodiversity.
  4. Strengthening the Third (Community) sector through skills and capacity building, education and research.
  5. Promoting generosity and giving to become part of the fabric of society by supporting community foundations and volunteering.
  6. Working with committed people who want to lead changes in selected needy communities.

Has provided over $50m (after paying tax on its income) to date to assist these initiatives on a hand-up not hand-out basis.

Investing in New Zealand
Through K1W1 Ltd and a number of other vehicles has invested over a total of $100M Seed and Venture capital into a large number of start up and early stage businesses from Biotech, environmental technology, high tech, software and other high export potential businesses. The aim is, either directly or as a “fund of funds” to assist young entrepreneurs to grow New Zealand as a leader in the “knowledge economy” and to help create a culture of making New Zealand “cash flow positive” in international goods and services trade.

Knowledge Wave
A member of the organising committee of the 2001 and 2003 “Knowledge Wave” conferences and subsequently the resulting ”Knowledge Wave Trust.” From this initiative Co Founded with David Teece KEA - the Kiwi Expat Association which now has 8 Chapters and 4000 members around the world and more to open.

Stephen was a founding member of the New Zealand Institute, a think tank with 30 Corporate members formed to contribute creative ideas and solutions to the policy debate, that will positively transform New Zealand in the years ahead.

Personal Awards: 

Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award2006 

Deloitte/Management Magazine
“Visionary Leader”

New Zealand Hall of Fame
A recognition and celebration of business excellence
in New Zealand

Enterprise North Shore – Hall of Fame2004 

Recognised by the National Business Review’s survey
as New Zealand’s Business person of the year for
the highest integrity in business

Auckland University of Technology Honorary Doctorate - HonD2002 

Massey University2002 

Honorary Doctorate - Dcom Honoris Causa
Unlimited Magazine “Best Business Person”
2001 & 2002 

Fortune Magazine International – named as one
of the world’s greatest Retailers with returns on
investment double that of Wal-Mart
Aug 2001 

Deloitte/Management Magazine
“Executive of the Year”

Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management1998 

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)1997 

New Zealand Herald - “Business Person of the Year”1997 

New Zealand retailer’s federation, “Young Retailer of the year1978 

Company Achievements: 

Top 200 Deloitte/Management Award
“Company of the Year”

North Shore City Council, Civic Award1998 

Top 500 Deloitte/Management Award
"Most Improved Enterprise”

NZ Society of Investment Analysts
“Most Improved Communicator”

National Business Review/KPMG Peat Marwick
“Best Business in the Retail Category”

Tertiary Education
5 years part time at Auckland Institute of technology resulting in NZIM
Management Diploma and New Zealand Institute of Purchasing & Supply Diploma

Secondary Education
Takapuna Grammar School - Head Prefect in 1969

Primary Education
Bayswater Primary School

Specialised in swimming from the age of 11 and won a large number of age group, school, Auckland secondary school, North Island secondary school titles. Was the top Auckland long distance champion for several seasons. Competed at national level in Waterpolo and Surf lifesaving, winning regional titles and individual Auckland surf events.

Special Interests
Helping New Zealander’s realise their full potential for the overall benefit of New Zealand.