Business veteran and investor Gavin Lennox has been appointed as the new chief executive of New Zealand's largest business incubator The Icehouse.

Lennox, who has been a member of Icehouse's angel investment network for 13 years, will start in the role as head of the group on February 3.

A champion of high-growth Kiwi tech companies, Lennox has a background in mentoring and growing businesses through his experience as a CEO and board director.

Icehouse CEO Andy Hamilton to depart after 18 years
Icehouse innovative option for business success
Icehouse marks five years boosting Hawke's Bay business


Lennox was previously CEO of self-service payments company Invenco, where he has been credited for the company quadrupling its revenues to over $100 million and doubling the size of its team during his four-year tenure.

He has also been CEO of Nextspace, president of the New Zealand Software Association, chairman of Critchlow and a director at IBM and Oasis Consulting.

Icehouse Ventures, led by Robbie Paul, raised $62m in investment this year.

Icehouse chair Chris Quin said Lennox's "track record as a business leader, combined with his passion for entrepreneurship and growing small businesses", made him a standout candidate to take over the role from founding CEO Andy Hamilton.

"We are fortunate to have attracted someone of Gavin's calibre to build on the outstanding work of Andy Hamilton and his leadership team over the past 19 years," Quin said. "After nearly two decades, The Icehouse has evolved from its early days into an engine of business growth serving the needs of New Zealanders who are starting, owning or managing a business.

"We believe Gavin has the right mix of skills, experience and passion to drive The Icehouse forward and take us to that next level and we look forward to seeing the impact of his expertise across our three business groups."

Icehouse founding CEO Andy Hamilton with Gavin Lennox (right). Photo / Supplied
Icehouse founding CEO Andy Hamilton with Gavin Lennox (right). Photo / Supplied

Lennox will be responsible for overseeing the Icehouse's Business Growth Learning and Development programmes, its co-worker space and Icehouse Ventures.

In a LinkedIn post, Lennox said he was excited to take on the role of chief executive in the new year.


"My passion and experience working for and leading international and global businesses, plus my involvement with a range of New Zealand startups and small businesses gives me a good foundation to give back," Lennox said in the post.

"I'm sure I have much to learn and also recognise that I'll be taking on the awesome responsibility of maintaining The Icehouse's success, but also helping it get to the next level as the organisation prepares to move to a new generation of growth."

Lennox said the interview process to fill Hamilton's shoes had been "thorough".

"For me, The Icehouse offers a unique opportunity to leverage my experience while also making an impact beyond generating shareholder value.

"I'm looking forward to using my experience scaling and mentoring companies to build on the incredible platform The Icehouse offers, and to continue to grow New Zealand businesses and attract sustained investment."

Hamilton will continue to lead the company until Lennox takes over in February.