CMO to CEO: Taming modern leadership

Chief executive of Australia’s Taronga Zoo Cameron Kerr is a great believer in the power of people to transform brands as well as leadership. He discusses his rise from marketer to business leader

“If a marketer was to ask me what has helped me through my career, I’d tell them being a marketer when I needed to be, and being a genuine leader and listener the rest of the time, has been vital,” director and CEO of the Taronga Conservation Society, Cameron Kerr, tells CMO.

It’s good advice from the former CMO, who worked his way through scientific research, product and consumer marketing roles to operations and now top dog at Australia’s premier zoo and conservation organisation.

Kerr sees culture as the foundation of strong leadership, and says the turning point for him professionally was recognising the need to have people across all levels of the organisation aligned behind one vision and goal. Being able to listen and relate is crucial to achieving this – and it’s something he sees marketers having a distinct advantage in.

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