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Changing of the guard with appointment of new Active+ CEO

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Changing of the guard with appointment of new Active+ CEO

Southern Cross Healthcare joint venture Active+ has appointed Mike Bignall as CEO with managing director Gill Webb announcing she will step down at the end of June after 30 years at the helm. Webb founded the multi-disciplinary health business in 1990, with Active+ now offering a wide range of preventative and rehabilitative services around the country including physiotherapy, occupational health, dietetics, psychology and counselling.

“My vision and passion for many years has been to create a holistic service to help get Kiwis back on their feet, and Active+ today is a reflection of that commitment,” said Webb. “The time now feels right to let Active+ thrive under a new leadership and I couldn’t think of a better person to take on that role than Mike. He has proven business acumen and will bring a fresh energy to advance the Active+ offering in the community.” 

 Bignall has extensive sector experience, having held a number of senior management roles with the ACC in rehabilitation services, partnerships and performance and health procurement. He has also worked for PHARMAC, the Ministry for Primary Industries and has held various roles with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, including a recent secondment with MIQ. Bignall’s employment will see him take on the CEO role for both Active Physio Ltd (the physiotherapy franchising arm of Active+) and Active Ltd (the supply arm of Active+ of rehabilitation services).

As CEO, Bignall will lead the design and delivery of the strategic and operational priorities for both organisations, as well as managing the implementation of a high performing culture across the franchisee and contractor networks, and internally. “It’s a real privilege to join the Active+ team and to take the reins from Gill who has built the organisation into one of New Zealand’s leading multi-disciplinary rehabilitation suppliers,” said Bignall. “I’m excited to be joining an innovative organisation and to lead the next stage for Active+, in partnership with Southern Cross Healthcare, to grow and deliver a fully integrated service offering to patients,” he added.

Southern Cross Healthcare CEO Terry Moore said under Webb’s leadership, Active+ has grown to more than 20 franchise clinics from Northland to Manawatu, and now has 900 clinicians across New Zealand. ‘We’re grateful for Gill’s dedication and service to the business over the past three decades. She’s achieved admirable business growth and has made a huge impact in improving the rehabilitation needs of many New Zealanders. Gill will be missed by everyone who has had the pleasure of working with her, and on behalf of everyone at Active+, I wish her all the best. 

“We also look forward to welcoming Mike to Active+. He’ll be working closely with Gill before she finishes in June to ensure a seamless leadership transition for all Active+ clinicians and patients,” said Moore. 

 Webb will be taking time to pursue her passion for conservation when she leaves Active+. “I feel a strong connection with nature, so I’m looking forward to using my newly found free time to commit to an environmental regeneration project in the Brynderwyns, in Northland. 

“I’d also like to acknowledge all of the clinicians and management team who I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with over the past 30 years,” added Webb.

 From 1 July 2021, Southern Cross Healthcare will hold all shares of Active Physio Ltd and the majority of shares in Active Ltd along with the other shareholders Andy Schmidt and Corne Mackie.