Lester Levy

Business Leader, medical doctor, entrepreneur, author and inspirational, entertaining and provocative speaker.
Lester Levy is best known for leading a number of successful business transformations in both the private and public sectors. He has a wealth of practical experience gained through his career and is known as one of New Zealand’s leading management executives.

Dr Lester Levy is the Chief Executive of Excelerator and Adjunct Professor of Leadership at The University of Auckland Business School.

Lester, who has an MBA as well as a medical degree, has extensive management and governance experience in the fields of healthcare, biotechnology and film and television production. Lester had his formative management experience in the multinational environment and is best known for leading a number of significant turnarounds in the performance of products and organisations.

A graduate of Medicine and an MBA with his formative management background in multi-nationals 3M and Beecham Research Laboratories, he is best known for leading a number of organisational performance transformations in both the private and public sectors. Lester has been Chief Executive of South Auckland Health, The MercyAscot Private Hospital Group (of which he was a founder) and The New Zealand Blood Service and his governance experience includes being the Chairman of Boards of Directors in the fields of healthcare, biotechnology and film and television production.

Lester has previously been seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as an advisor, has been awarded the prestigious King's Fund International Fellowship from the King's Fund in London, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and is the author of the book "Leadership and the Whirlpool Effect". Lester is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and is a member of the selection panel for the Blake Medal, New Zealand's premier civilian leadership award.

Lester is the author of the book ‘Leadership and the Whirlpool Effect’ and is a frequently invited speaker and presenter on the subject of leadership, in New Zealand and overseas

He teaches leadership at Auckland University primarily at the postgraduate and executive level, including the MBA and the Masters of Management where his teaching is strongly focussed on understanding leadership, the link between leadership and performance, the difference between management and leadership, governance, ethics and strategic thinking.

Lester's research interests include perceptions of leadership, concepts of leadership, the relationship between leadership and management and strategic thinking. His work has been published in international peer review journals such as Organization, European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology and The International Journal of Learning and Change. He is also the principal investigator and author of the research reports ‘More right than real: the shape of authentic leadership in New Zealand.’ and ‘The generational mirage: a pilot study into the perceptions of leadership by Generation X and Y.’

Presentations: 

  • • Management
  • • Leadership
  • • Strategic Planning
  • • Marketing
  • • Organisational Restructuring