Gordon Cairns


Gordon is a Celt born in Bridge of Allan, Scotland, and educated at the University of Edinburgh where he graduated with an MA Honours.


Gordon’s approach is grounded in developing purpose-led organisations, customer focused with deep values and a strong culture. Gordon has extensive experience in a combination of highgrowth, restructuring, and turnaround environments.

Career History

He started his career in the UK with Nestle, Cadbury, the Imperial Group and then Frito-Lay, the snack food division of PepsiCo. He worked for them for 10 years in the USA, Australasia and Europe as Director of International Marketing, Director of Operations, CFO and lastly as MD of their Australian snack food business.

Gordon joined Lion, an ASX 50 beverage business, initially as the MD of their Australian beer business and subsequently as CEO for seven years. During his tenure the company was transformed into a purpose and values led organisation, with a culture that was universally admired with a growth mindset and a total return to shareholders in the top quartile of global beverage companies.

Gordon stepped down from an executive career and served on the Boards of Westpac Bank (nine years), Macquarie Group (six years), as Chairman of Origin Energy (seven years) and Woolworths Group (seven years) where he is currently Chair. He has extensive advisory experience with both CVC and Archer Capital, McKinsey and Luminis Partners.

In the not for profit sector Gordon served on the Boards of Good Return (15 years) a micro finance provider to the poor in South East Asia, and Opera Australia where he Chaired the Audit Committee.


Gordon is married to Jane, and they have two children Debbie and Neil. He is an avid walker (The Camino, Larapinta Trail, Routeburn), enjoys travel and eating good food and drinking fine wine with family and friends.