●With Mainfreight since 1994.
●Appointment to board 2000.
●Over 38 years' experience in the freight industry, including 22 with Mainfreight.
●His leadership is underpinned by a strong belief in Mainfreight's global competency and capabilities to provide high quality supply chain solutions for customers.
●His visits to local and overseas operations guide teams to be sales-focused and always aiming for operational excellence.
●2018 New Zealand Shareholders' Association Beacon Award.
●Deloitte Top 200 Executive of the year 2008 & 2011.
●INFINZ Leadership award 2016.
●Deloitte Top 200 Awards:
This outstanding leader impresses with his vision, drive and humility.
Don Braid would be the first to say when it comes to "shaping the future" for Mainfreight it is a team game.
Mainfreight's straight-talking group managing director has an infectious zest for business and dogged determination to deliver on the company's 100-year vision, following in the footsteps of the company's visionary leader, co-founder and executive chairman Bruce Plested.
Delivery is happening in spades.
Over the past decade, Braid set a course for Mainfreight to expand internationally in the highly competitive global supply chain logistics business and has gone about successfully delivering on that strategy.
The results have consistently been good as he expanded the company's three core businesses — transport, warehousing, and air and ocean carriage — from Australasia to Europe, Asia and the US.
In a highly competitive global industry, Mainfreight's approach of putting people first, taking a long-term view and no-nonsense approach of getting on with the job has resulted in this proud Kiwi company successfully delivering in all the markets it operates in.
Said Plested: "He's a very natural leader. He loves selling. He knows the customers and the operations and people want to know him."
Importantly, says Plested, "Braid sees the big picture" — which is critically important to Mainfreight's mission to be a 100-year globally successful company.
The judges were unanimous that in a group of high-performing CEOs over the past decade Braid stood out as the most deserving of the recognition as Executive of the Decade following in the footsteps of two previous winners of this award — Sir Roderick Deane and Sir Ralph Norris.
Braid is one of only two CEOs to be awarded Chief Executive of the Year twice in the Deloitte Top 200 awards 30-year history; the other was Norris at ASB (1997) and again at Air New Zealand (2014).
Braid has been at the helm of Mainfreight for all of the past decade and the performance of the company in that time has been outstanding.
In the past decade, group profits rose from $35 million to $141 million this year with revenue increasing from just over $1 billion to $3 billion today. To achieve that level of growth this long-established and successful Kiwi company needed to prove up and deliver in its formula in Australia and then seek out opportunities in global markets.
At times it has not been easy. It took a little while to successfully integrate European acquisitions and embed the Mainfreight culture. But Braid does not lack determination and the persistence has paid off with all areas of their global operations performing well with double-digit earnings growth in the last year. As a country sometimes lacking in confidence about the ability to succeed overseas, Mainfreight has demonstrated that a company founded on Kiwi values can succeed with a focus on people and hard work.
Leading the way has been Braid.
Mainfreight's market value is now over $4 billion.
It is one of our largest listed companies that hasn't evolved from an original government ownership. Shareholders have benefited greatly from Mainfreight's performance with an annualised total shareholder over the past decade of just under 30 per cent per annum.
Braid has gained a reputation as a straight-shooter.
In his annual newsletter, he applauded the enormous amount of hard graft from Mainfreight's global team — saying this is all "rear mirror" stuff, and we are now focused on what is in front of us.
The judges said: "Don Braid is recognised for the achievements of the past decade but also for setting the the company up to continue to deliver given its successful global positioning.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who presented Braid with his award last night, said "the winner is truly deserving of this accolade... this outstanding leader impresses with his vision, drive and humility."
Braid's twin sons Cory and Jason also work in the business — Cory in Australia and Jason in Europe. He has won an award for "best-dressed CEO" at least once. He is very fit through cycling and boxing.
Plested says his expectation is Braid will in the future become Mainfreight's executive chairman and "bring on and mentor" his replacement.
But he says Braid will be a hard man to replace in the CEO's role. "He has less faults than any other CEO that I have met and he makes quite quick decisions so you are not left with any question marks."