Today the Board and Chairman of Te Papa have appointed Rick Ellis to take up the role of Chief Executive for the museum, starting on 24 November. Rick Ellis has an exceptional track record in senior executive roles, providing outstanding leadership in New Zealand and Australia as Chief Executive for 10 years at TVNZ, Chief Executive Officer of Ansett New Zealand, Managing Director of EDS New Zealand and most recently, as Group Executive Telstra Media based in Sydney.
At state broadcaster TVNZ, Mr Ellis led the introduction of digital channels and the push into on-demand online and digital content services. At Telstra he led the transformation of their internet protocol television (IPTV) and digital content services. His career in IT spans over 25 years in New Zealand, Australia and the UK with Burroughs Corporation, Wang Laboratories and EDS Corporation.
Te Papa Chairman Evan Williams says the board is excited by the depth of leadership experience that Mr Ellis is bringing to Te Papa. “When we began our search for a new Chief Executive, we decided that we needed someone who could provide inspirational leadership and move Te Papa’s capabilities to a different level. We believe Mr Ellis has the right skills and experience to do this.
“His extensive background in digital media offers so much to Te Papa as we extend beyond the walls of our buildings. He has a passion for making Te Papa available for everyone in New Zealand and he has also accepted our brief to build a succession plan based on fostering New Zealand-based talent.
“During his time at TVNZ, Mr Ellis led a public sector organisation responsible for delivering content that is enjoyed and valued by New Zealanders, and worked with creative teams and cultural issues in a very public space. With the strength of our excellent curatorial team alongside him, we are confident he will build on Te Papa’s existing strengths and take Te Papa to a new level of performance and excellence,” says Mr Williams.
Mr Ellis says he’s delighted to be joining an iconic organisation with such an important role to play as New Zealand’s national museum. “Te Papa has a strong vision for the future to change hearts, change minds and change lives and exciting events in the near future with the WWI Gallipoli exhibition and the development of a national storage and collections facility in Manukau. I’m looking forward to working with the Te Papa team to help strengthen a national treasure that Kiwis can be proud of.”