NEW BOSS: Growcom Chairman Les Williams welcoming new Growcom chief executive officer David Thomson, who will start on May 8.
NEW BOSS: Growcom Chairman Les Williams welcoming new Growcom chief executive officer David Thomson, who will start on May 8. Contributed

Fresh eyes for new leader

DAVID Thomson will walk into the job as Growcom chief executive officer as a man with no "baggage” or "pre-conceived ideas” about the horticulture industry.

While he has extensive experience in senior roles across the private and public sectors, he freely admitted he had no background within agriculture.

"I am going to spend the first 100 days or so meeting all the players and learning from their points of view, I am coming into this with no pre-conceived views,” he said.

"I am going to start with meeting the members of Growcom, and then probably go to the people who are in the industry, but are not members of Growcom, so I can understand why not.”

Based in Brisbane, Mr Thomson spent 30 years working in the steel industry, at one point in time for mining giant BHP, within the distribution and manufacturing sector.

For the last decade, however, he ran Stradbroke Ferries - the company that transports thousands of people from Brisbane to Moreton Bay islands.

He summed up his leadership style with three key methods: respect, communication and seeking to find agreed or shared goals.

"In my mind you need to have a genuine respect for people, you won't gain respect unless you give respect - that's one of the cornerstones of my leadership style,” he said.

"You have to make sure you don't suffer from selective hearing, you have to listen to people.”

Mr Thomson was quick to note the potential growth he saw for horticulture.

"I can see an enormous potential for agriculture and horticulture in Queensland,” he said.

"It's a very exciting industry, I think all levels of government see it as the cornerstone of the Australian economy.”

Growcom chairman Les Williams, a pineapple grower from Wamuran, said Mr Thomson was a proven leader.

"David has extensive experience across a number of disciplines and the board is very confident of his ability to lead and direct Growcom as a profitable grower representative body working towards the sustainable future of the horticulture industry through effective advocacy on behalf of growers, effective grower engagement and the delivery of valued and relevant services to growers,” Mr Williams said.

"The board is very confident about Growcom's future under David's leadership.”

Mr Thomson's first official day starts on May 8.

There will be a smooth hand over with outgoing chief executive officer Pat Hannan, who finishes up on May 18 and moves into retirement.