New CEO for Auckland Council

"Sheffield Search has been privileged to support Auckland Council in the appointment of Phil Wilson as CEO. We congratulate Phil and wish him all the very best for a highly successful tenure in the role." - Neil Munro, Associate Director and Ian Taylor, Managing Director, Sheffield North Island

Auckland Council Press Release

Mayor Wayne Brown has announced the appointment of Phil Wilson as Auckland Council’s new Chief Executive.

“It is Phil’s depth of knowledge of the politics of local government and how the council works that makes him the right candidate.

“Appointing from within the council’s executive does not mean business as usual. His long association with the council, in both organisational leadership and political office roles, forms a solid foundation for making the type of change needed to deliver for Aucklanders.

“I was elected as Mayor on a platform for change and I am confident Phil has the right skills and attitude to deliver.  His experience will be useful in getting a City Deal done with the Government and implementing the rest of my Auckland Manifesto.”

“Auckland Council is in a tough financial situation and needs to build greater trust with the Auckland public.  We have been very clear that this appointment also signals an opportunity for a fresh start, and that Phil will lead the organisation through these challenging times.

“A fine thing about Phil is that he enjoys a great deal of confidence across both the Governing Body and council staff, and that is important to me.

“Working alongside the Governing Body, which includes working closely with my office, will be a priority for Phil as we navigate the Long-term Plan, Auckland’s recovery from this year’s severe weather events, and enabling Auckland to make more decisions about its future,” he says.

Mr Wilson says he’s privileged to have the opportunity to lead the council through such a pivotal time of change and responding to huge challenges facing the Auckland region.

“It is both humbling and reassuring to know I have the confidence and support of the Mayor and Councillors behind me and we’re all in agreement that we need to transform, strengthen and refresh in order to build confidence in the council.

“I’m up for the challenge and am committed working collaboratively across the organisation to achieve the results Auckland demands from us,” says Mr Wilson.

Chief Executive recruitment process

Recruitment for a new Chief Executive began in March 2023, shortly after Jim Stabback’s departure was announced. It was managed by an executive recruitment process through the council’s Performance and Appointments Committee. Candidates were long-listed and interviewed by the Committee, which made its recommendations to the Governing Body.

The Governing Body interviewed the shortlist on Friday 27 October and settled on a preferred candidate.  The four interviewees included local and offshore candidates, from a variety of public sector backgrounds.

Phil Wilson became Acting Chief Executive on 2 July and will officially become Chief Executive on Monday 6 November. His remuneration will be $600,000 per year and his contract period is four years. The previous CE’s remuneration was $630,000.

About Phil Wilson

Phil Wilson joined Auckland Council in 2010 as Chief of Staff in the Mayoral Office and was appointed to his most recent executive role of Director Governance and CCO Partnerships in 2015.  Mr Wilson held senior roles at Manukau City Council, including as General Manager Human Resources and Communications, Chief Advisor and Head of the Chief Executive’s and Mayoral offices.

He has been a board member and chair of Taituarā (Local Government Professionals Aotearoa) and was Acting Group Recovery Manager following this year’s flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle response.


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