The most “powerful” Australians on LinkedIn revealed

Two pioneers of the Australian e-commerce sector are among the most influential chief executives in the country, according to LinkedIn.

RedBalloon founding director Naomi Simson and founder Ruslan Kogan have once again been included in the professional networking platform’s select group of business leaders to have a ‘Power Profile’ – one of the most viewed member profiles on LinkedIn in Australia.

Read more: How your business can get on board with LinkedIn

Simson and Kogan are among seven leaders to be included in the top chief executives with Power Profiles, along with Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn and Aurecon group chief executive Giam Swiegers, who also made the list last year.

Also on the chief executive list this year is Deloitte Australia’s Cindy Hook, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Westpac Group chief executive Brian Hartzer.

This year LinkedIn has chosen to highlight the most viewed member profiles from leaders of technology startups, with Redbubble co-founder and chief executive Martin Hosking and Beau Bertoli from Prospa making the cut.

The separate ‘Internet’ list includes the likes of Freelancer founder and chief executive Matt Barrie, whose scathing critique of Sydney’s lockout laws on LinkedIn went viral earlier this year, and Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-chief executive of Atlassian. Meanwhile, the big banks are well-represented in the human resources and marketing and advertising lists.

LinkedIn now boasts a global membership base of 450 million users, with more than 8 million in Australia.

Prospa joint chief executive Beau Bertoli told SmartCompany LinkedIn has helped Prospa grow on a number of fronts.

“We generate more leads across the business from LinkedIn than all other social media platforms combined,” Bertoli says.

“We’ve also used LinkedIn to help create our positioning as a thought leader in alternative finance and as a reputable and trustworthy brand.”

Bertoli says LinkedIn has also helped “bring top talent to Prospa”.

“For many roles, we use LinkedIn to look for specific kinds of people who fit specific profiles and work in hand-picked industries, not always finance or technology.”

The Australian “Power Profiles” are:

Chief executives

  • Alan Joyce, chief executive and managing director, Qantas
  • Brian Hartzer, chief executive, Westpac Group
  • Andrew Penn, chief executive, Telstra
  • Cindy Hook, chief executive, Deloitte Australia
  • Ruslan Kogan, founder and chief executive, Kogan
  • Naomi Simson, founding director, RedBalloon
  • Giam Swiegers, group chief executive, Aurecon

Technology startups

  • Martin Hosking, co-founder and chief executive, Redbubble
  • Mark Harbottle, co-founder, 99designs, SitePoint, Flippa
  • Jost Stollmann, managing director and chief executive, Tyro Payments
  • Beau Bertoli, joint chief executive, Prospa
  • Murray Hurps, general manager, Fishburners

Human resources

  • Susie Babni, chief human resources officer, ANZ
  • Stephanie Gillies, global recruitment director, Accenture
  • Cristel Waples, senior recruitment specialist, Telstra
  • David Sayer, chief operations and talent officer, Ogilvy Australia
  • Lorraine Murphy, chief people officer, National Australia Bank
  • Rachael Powell, chief people officer, Xero
  • Rhonda Allen, vice president, retail talent, Aritzia
  • Sehr Ahmed, global chief people officer, IFM Investors


  • Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-chief executive, Atlassian
  • Matt Barrie, chief executive, Freelancer
  • Laurie Patton, chief executive, Internet Australia
  • Richard Webb, chief executive and co-founder, Start Mesh
  • Charlie Wood, country manager and managing director, ANZ Dropbox
  • Tony Ward, managing director for the Asia Pacific, SurveyMonkey
  • Alistair Venn, managing director, Menulog
  • Alezandre Meyer, co-founder and chief executive, Vaniday Australia

Marketing and advertising

  • Andrew Knott, chief marketing officer, National Australia Bank
  • Nick Reynolds, chief marketing officer for APAC, Lenovo
  • Stephanie Tully, chief marketing officer, Qantas
  • Sarah McLachlan, chief marketing officer and co-founder, Start Mesh
  • Karen Ganschow, general manager of customer relationship marketing, Westpac
  • Andrew Baxter, chief executive, Publicis Worldwide Australia
  • Jaimes Leggett, group chief executive, M&C Saatchi
  • Jon Holloway, former managing director, R/GA
  • Mark Lollback, chief executive officer, GroupM Australia & New Zealand


  • Stephanie Rice, swimmer and entrepreneur
  • Caroline Buchanan, BMX and mountain bike rider
  • Mark Robertson, technical director and 1st team manager, Hakoah Sydney City FC
  • Sally Fitzgibbons, surfer
  • Ange Postecoglou, Socceroos national team coach
  • Darren Lehmann, head coach of the Australian Cricket Team


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5 years ago

You missed out the significant digital marketing champion based in Tasmania – Michael Gorman

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