The most “powerful” Australian chief executives and founders on LinkedIn revealed

Melanie Perkins Canva

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins and Showpo founder Jane Lu are now two of the most influential Australian chief executives and founders on LinkedIn, joining the likes of e-commerce pioneers Naomi Simson and Ruslan Kogan.

Perkins, who continues to lead graphic design startup Canva through its rapid growth, has this year been included in LinkedIn’s select group of business leaders to have a ‘Power Profile’ — one of the most viewed member profiles on LinkedIn in Australia.

The entrepreneur is one of nine to be included in the list of chief executives and founders with Power Profiles, alongside RedBalloon founding director and Shark Tank judge Naomi Simson, and Ruslan Kogan, founder of the online retail empire.

Simson’s fellow Shark Tank judge Janine Allis is also included on the chief executive and founder list, as is Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar and Freelancer chief executive Matt Barrie. Also on the list is Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn, SumoSalad co-founder and chief executive Luke Baylis and Westpac Group chief executive Brian Hartzer.

This year LinkedIn has also chosen to highlight influential leaders in the fashion industry, with Showpo’s Jane Lu making the cut alongside Patrick Schmidt, chief executive of The Iconic, and Cotton On Group chief executive Peter Johnson.

Separate lists have also been compiled for the HR sector and for those in the advertising and marketing industry.

LinkedIn now has more than 9 million members in Australia and more than 500 million members globally.

The Australian “Power Profiles” are:

Chief executives and founders

Naomi Simson, founding director, RedBalloon

Andrew Penn, chief executive, Telstra

Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-chief executive, Atlassian

Melanie Perkins, co-founder and chief executive, Canva

Matt Barrie, chief executive,

Brian Hartzer, chief executive, Westpac Group

Janine Allis, founder, Boost Juice

Ruslan Kogan, founder and chief executive,

Luke Baylis, co-founder and chief executive, SumoSalad


Jane Lu, founder and chief executive, Showpo

Nicole Warne, founder and director, Gary Pepper Group

Patrick Schmidt, chief executive, The Iconic

Chris Beer, chief executive and managing director, George and Matilda Eyecare

Ceinwen Evans, head of e-commerce – global, Camilla Australia

Peter Johnson, chief executive Cotton On Group

Alexie O’Brien, general manager, Ozmosis (Rip Curl Group)

Marketing and advertising

Nick Reynolds, chief marketing officer – Asia Pacific, Lenovo

Cavan Brady, brand manager, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Alex Kirk, head of systems and automation, MediaCom

Stephanie Tully, chief marketing officer, Qantas

Andrew Knott, chief marketing officer, National Australia Bank

Jaimes Leggett, group chief executive, M&C Saatchi

Timothy Whitfield, director of technical operations, GroupM

Vittoria Shortt, group executive, marketing and strategy, Commonwealth Bank

Michael Scott, executive general manager of brand strategy and marketing, Myer

Human resources

Veronica Sargeant, human resources business partner, RB

Katie-Skye McLeod, human resources business partner, Vodafone Australia

Jayne Ward, head of remuneration and benefits, Australia Post

Anouk De Blieck, general manager, HR executive leader, ANZ

Ashley Spowart, learning lead, National Australia Bank

Cassie Sellars, head of people and culture – Oceania, TBWA Australia

Jessica Bilston-Gourley, human resources business partner, Drager.

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