Profile - Carrie Hobson
Carrie Hobson attended St Hilda’s Collegiate aged 14 – 17 years from 1976 – 1979. She
absolutely loved her time at the school and often thinks of the fabulous opportunities the
school gave her, but most of all the values that were instilled in her; “to give of her best and
remember those she serves”. She often revisits the Wellington house motto “up guards and
at them again” and has found this enormously useful in her life.
Carrie resides in Auckland with her three children, but still visits Dunedin and has very
special friendships with the girls she went through school with. She is a member of the St
Hilda’s Old Girls' Association in Auckland and loves catching up with them for special
Fast forward some 30 years to today, Carrie is a founding partner of Hobson Leavy Limited,
a retained executive search firm based in Auckland. She co-founded Hobson Leavy over 13
years ago, with a focus on executive level appointments at the highest level across all
sectors in New Zealand ranging from start-ups to mature multinationals in both the corporate
and not-for-profit sectors. Hobson Leavy believes that “leaders matter” and since 2008
Carrie and the team have worked with hundreds of boards and leadership teams to find the
best talent and help lift the bar for the companies they work for. Carrie is very proud of
Hobson Leavy and the significant work that it does in the New Zealand market, assisting
organisations in finding the best leaders.
Carrie left school and attended the Otago School of Nursing, completing her RGON Diploma
in 1983. On graduating she worked as a staff nurse in ward 6A, the neuro surgery and
neurology ward, and then worked in intensive care at Dunedin Hospital for a year. She
decided to attend university in 1985 and completed an Honours Degree in Economics in
1989. During this period she was a Nursing Tutor at Otago Polytechnic on a part time basis.
On graduating with her honours degree she joined Southpac/National Bank in their corporate
banking team in Auckland.
Today Carrie has over 25 years of corporate experience, initially in banking and finance and
latterly in executive search. She has held senior positions in corporate banking with major
banks in both New Zealand and the United States and has worked with top level executives
optimising financial performance and implementing company strategy. She has held
directorships in both private and public sectors with particular experience in finance, health
and human resources. Carrie has an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of
Otago, is an approved certified finance and investment professional and a Member of the
Institute of Directors and Global Women. Carrie has also completed the Advanced Course in
Executive Search from Cornell University in New York.
Throughout her career Carrie has worked really closely with not-for-profit organisations at a
strategic level and was previously Chief Executive of the St Joseph’s Mercy Hospice
Foundation, a charity very close to her heart. She was a member of the National Heart
Foundation Leadership Team that campaigned successfully to raise $5million to establish
the Chair in Heart Health at the University of Auckland. The Chair was successfully launched
in 2011 with the appointment of the first Professor in Heart Health. Carrie is currently a
Member of the Fundraising Committee of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand and has
been deeply involved with supporting the establishment of the Unicorn Foundation, a
foundation established to provide support and treatment for neuroendocrine cancer patients,
campaigning strongly in order to secure support for those who cannot receive the treatment
in New Zealand. She has been involved with this charity since 2010 and has cycled the
length of New Zealand in order to raise funds for a Gatate scanner, the first of its kind in New
Zealand allowing a significant step change in diagnosis of these tumours.
Carrie currently serves on the Board of the King’s College Foundation, where her three
children have attended, and is deeply supportive of the college as it embraces the whole
student in their pursuit to be the best that they can be academically, on the sports field and
in cultural activities, but also with a strong understanding of the community in which they live.
This helps students to develop critical thinking and intellectual independence whilst also
nurturing their personal wellbeing.
Carrie has also worked closely with the Auckland City Mission, supporting them in their
Board appointments with Hobson Leavy engaged in the appointment of the CEO. She
recently completed a 12km run in order to raise funds for the City Mission.
Carrie currently serves on the Council of her Alumni University, Otago University, the oldest
university in New Zealand founded 150 years ago. She also serves on their Foundation.
Carrie is a true Kiwi and is proud of her heritage, in particular her iwi Ngāi Tahu. But most
importantly she is a devoted mother to George, Harry and Emelia and wife to Malcolm.