Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sir James Fletcher; Nic Nobilo

During the past weeks, NZ has seen the deaths of two of our greater "captains of industry".

From NZHerald -

Sir James Fletcher
Tributes poured in yesterday for construction giant Sir James Fletcher, 92, and leading winemaker Nick Nobilo, 94.

Both died peacefully in Auckland overnight on Wednesday.

Sir James was remembered as a visionary and "absolute gentleman" by business leaders, industrialists, politicians and figures in the art and sports worlds.

Known as Jim to his friends, he became managing director of the newly created Fletcher Holdings in 1942, at age 28.

He went on to create a business empire that included major stakes in New Zealand's first steel mill and the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill at Kawerau.

Fletcher Challenge was New Zealand's largest listed company until Telecom listed in the 1990s.

...John Hart, who was employee relations director at Fletcher Challenge, said Sir James was hugely respected by employees, trade unions, suppliers and customers.

"He was universally accepted as a very humble and a real gentleman, but obviously a great business visionary," he said.

"We have lost probably one of the best industrialist role models that we could ever have had."

Nic Nobilo
Mr Nobilo, a Croatian immigrant who founded Nobilo wines after arriving in New Zealand in the 1940s, was praised for creating an innovative company that is now the country's second-largest winery.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said he left an impressive legacy by building Nobilo into a company that led "the revolution in table wine" in the 1960s and 70s.

George Fistonich of Villa Maria wines said Mr Nobilo was an innovator who was also deeply proud of his culture and had supported his three sons in the wine industry.

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