10 top directors to follow online

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Shelley Dempsey photo
Shelley Dempsey
Communications Executive

    We all know there’s a wealth of good information and opinion out there, but finding the best thought leaders online is not always easy. Whether you are looking for new insights, podcasts or articles covering purpose, gender equity or governance, there are many global and Australian thinkers shaping opinion and setting the agenda. Here, Boardroom Report takes a look at a selection of top directors who are active online.

    Holly Ransom, CEO Emergent, Director Port Adelaide Football Club

    Twenty-nine year old Australian Holly Ransom, who is based in New York as a Fulbright scholar, is a solid young influencer who publishes a regular podcast called #CoffeePod. With over 36,000 followers on LinkedIN and more than 61,000 on Twitter, she has interviewed high-profile leaders including former US President Barack Obama, Australian refugee Mariam Issa and cancer survivor, ex-banker and author, Michael Crossland. She also publishes thoughtful articles on celebrating difference with leaders such as Malcom Gladwell, author of Talking to Strangers. Her other recent posts relate to women’s advancement, equality and WA assisted dying laws. @HollyRansom

    Steve Vamos GAICD, CEO Xero, Director Fletcher Building

    A declared fan of 70s rock, Vamos, a former head of Microsoft and Apple Australia, is known better as a prominent workplace culture commentator and says culture starts at the top with the CEO. Steve’s LinkedIN and Twitter feeds are mostly more professional than personal, so they cover subjects including work culture, company performance, accounting, innovation, sustainability, technology for small business, but also the occasional hockey game in Canada. @stevevamos

    Dr Kirstin Ferguson FAICD, Deputy Chair ABC, director SCA Property, EML Payments and Hyne Timber

    The Australian business leader, creator of the popular #CelebratingWomen social media campaign and co-author of the book Women Kind publishes a monthly newsletter called Leading Content with links to interesting books, podcasts and other resources. Her special topics on social media are celebrating women in all walks of life, emotional intelligence, trust and purpose for leaders and diversity and inclusion. She also posts what are often news-based stories to her 11,117 followers on LinkedIN and 17,200 on Twitter. Recent tweets relate to the bushfire crisis, climate change, Donald Trump, the advancement of women and book reviews. @kirstinferguson

    Indra Nooyi, Board member Amazon and Schlumberger Ltd, former chair and CEO Pepsico

    After 12 years at the helm of PepsiCo, Nooyi, who has more than 900,000 followers on LinkedIN and 78,000 on Twitter, joined Amazon's board of directors in 2019. The seasoned executive is well-placed to comment on big issues facing businesses, such as leadership, diverse hiring, women rewriting workplace rules, and why unconscious bias needs to stop. @IndraNooyi

    Ming Long GAICD, chair AMP Capital, deputy chair Diversity Council Australia, Director QBE Insurance, CEDA, Chartered Accountants ANZ

    This respected high-profile chair, who has navigated periods of significant volatility and crisis, is not afraid to speak her opinion on controversial matters and is vocal on the subjects of diversity, Australia’s bushfires, climate change and gender equality. On her Twitter and LinkedIN pages, recent posts relate to concerns over the Prime Minister missing his leadership opportunity to tackle deniers of climate change, air pollution and animal extinction after the bushfires, sustainability, cultural diversity, affordable housing, male champions of change and how her purpose is to leave the world a better place. @MingYLong

    Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    As you would expect, the former Mr Microsoft, who is an inspiring advocate for the underprivileged in developing countries, has a whopping audience, with more than 23.8 million followers on LinkedIN. With a dedicated mission to reduce inequity, his recent posts relate to global health financing, making America’s tax system fairer, manufacturing opportunities and book reviews. In general, he focuses on making the world a better place and on innovations he sees on his world travels to address global issues.Gates also has a YouTube channel which talks about issues such as saving lives, improving education and delivering clean sources of energy.

    Arianna Huffington, author, Founder and CEO at Thrive Global, former Huff Post Editor in Chief, board member Twenty, Xprize, Onex, Thrive Global, and Global Citizen, former Uber board member

    For a guide on how to survive the demands of business and corporate life, look no further. Through her startup Thrive Global, the mission of the globally influential Huffington is to “end the stress and burnout epidemic”. She posts about work culture, health and wellbeing and nutrition. With 8.85 million followers on LinkedIN and 2.94 million on Twitter, she is busting the myth that burnout is the price you must pay for success and shares strategies for leading a fulfilling and successful life, including tips on celebrating small wins, embracing rejection and how to build in time to recharge. Her LinkedIn blog is called My Weekly Thoughts. @ariannahuff

    Diane Smith-Gander AO FAICD, CEDA chair, advocate for gender equity

    With nearly 10,000 followers on LinkedIN, Perth-based Smith-Gander has a pragmatic approach which will appeal to those interested in a straight-talking approach to social issues including gender equality, equal opportunity, and women’s engagement in executive roles. She is also a passionate West Australian who highlights State issues. @DianeSmithG

    Greg Mullins AO AFSM GAICD, Chair of NSW Ambulance Advisory Board and Former Commissioner Fire & Rescue NSW

    The emergency services specialist is refreshingly vocal on LinkedIN about important current issues with a focus on the Australian bushfires and his unsuccessful attempts in 2019 to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to warn him of the fire risk.

    Marina Go, Chair Super Netball Commission and Ovarian Cancer Australia, Director PwC Advisory Board, 7-Eleven, Energy Australia, AutoSports Group, Walkley Foundation

    With a sporting pedigree earned as the former chair of Wests Tigers, former media identity Marina Go maintains a strong interest in all sports, ranging from tennis to badminton, cricket and football, soccer and netball and publishes regular updates on them all. She is also the author of Break Through, 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders and is part of the Authors For Fireys fundraising campaign. With her media background and 19,500 followers on Twitter, Go is a good example of a director who is an ambassador for her brands. She promotes all her boards and their social media feeds on her own platforms and has plenty to say on issues such as diversity, inclusive culture and independent journalism. @marinasgo

    Ita Buttrose AC OBE MAICD, ABC Chair

    Her motto is that “those who adapt survive”. Nearly a year since media legend Ita Buttrose was appointed chair of the ABC, she has pursued the themes of leadership ethics and trust in her new mission and now has more than 64,000 followers on Twitter. Her recent posts promote the ABC and mention climate change, global warming, Dementia Australia, the Aged Care Royal Commission interim report and the racehorse slaughter scandal exposed by the ABC. @ItaButtrose

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