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Melbourne Enterprise Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne

Professor John Pollaers OAM is Melbourne Enterprise Professor with the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. He was previously chief executive officer and executive director of Pacific Brands, chief executive of Foster’s Group Limited, and managing director of Carlton & United Breweries.

John’s distinguished career encompasses experience in consumer products. His senior roles at Diageo plc included president Asia Pacific and managing director Australasia, where he was also a member of the Diageo Group executive committee.

John’s career has been marked by repeated turnaround performances in which he has successfully led nine business transformations, Pacific Brands’ being the most recent.

Key to John’s success is his instinctive ability to motivate and build confidence among his executive team, improve employee self-confidence and engagement and reignite belief in his companies’ brands. This, together with his ability to build resilience in the face of commercial challenges and economic volatility, and his innate knack for forging strong and enduring partnerships, typify his style.

His achievements are also characterised by his ability to set a clear strategic direction, matched with a sharp focus on operational delivery, and supported by a strong commercial conscience.

In 2012 John was appointed to the Expert Advisory Committee of the National Preventative Health Agency. He is chair of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, chair of the Australian government's Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, co-chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Council and an advisory board member at the Centre For Workplace Leadership.


  • 2012–2014
    CEO, Pacific Brands


Order of Australia