From part-time worker to Young Executive of the Year
Grant Watson, Vice President Operations for McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd, has won this year’s New Zealand Institute
of Management (NZIM) Young Executive of the Year.
Watson’s career began at McDonald’s 18 years ago. He has progressed from a part-time crew member to running the
company’s entire operations function in New Zealand. This includes company-owned restaurants, franchising, operations
development, restaurant technology, training and McCafé.
Judges described Watson as an impressive young executive with entrepreneurial flair and extraordinary management skill.
They said “Watson is an executive who has clearly achieved well against international standards and has done so by
recognising and responding to local and world-wide pressures for responsible eating. He is a team leader of exceptional
skills that would transfer easily to any other business sector.”
McDonald’s Managing Director Gráinne Troute says Watson’s win recognises his professionalism, skill, knowledge and the
key leadership function he plays across the business.
“Grant has played an integral role in transforming McDonald’s New Zealand. He consistently demonstrates strategic
vision, strong management attributes and a passion for the business.
“Grant’s integrity and mental attitude provide a clear understanding of core business drivers, outstanding leadership
and exceptional talent development. McDonald’s has always recognised him as a remarkably talented individual.”
Currently living with his wife on Auckland’s North Shore, Watson attended Mt Albert Grammar School, has an MBA from
Otago University and has also attended the Institute of Strategic Leadership. He is an officer of McDonald’s New Zealand
and has been a member of the company’s Senior Management Team for more than three years.