John Peebles
Executive Search

“Our sole goal : recruiting winning teams”



About Dr. John Peebles

Dr John Peebles has been the Professional Director for John Peebles Associates since 1990 and an Executive Search Consultant and board advisor for 36 years.

In addition to providing Corporate Governance advice to Boards he is responsible for about 20 Non-Executive Director Appointments in any one year ranging from publicly listed companies to cooperatives, private concerns and Not for Profit organisations. He was recognised as one of the top 50 most influential global headhunters by NewsWeek (USA) in 2008 and has appointed numerous chief executives.

He has served on State Owned Enterprise, private company and Not for Profit boards is currently Chair of Premier Lifestyle Villages.

John is former Chairman of the Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust, former chairman of Pop’n’Good Holdings Ltd, former Chair of the Auckland Opera Studio, a former Director of The Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Board of Advisors’ (Chairman and Director from 1999 to 2003). Former Trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Foundation Trust and a former Director and Chairman of Indigenous Corporate Solutions Ltd and a number of other private companies. Former Chair of Asia Pacific for the AESC (Association of Executive Search Consultants, New York) and a member of the global board. Moderator, Telwares Global CIO conference, Washington, November 2008 and Co Chairman AESC conference, New York, March 2009.

Dr Peebles completed a Master of Business Administration (NUU), a Post Graduate Certificate of Business Research (Waikato University) and a Doctorate of Business and Administration (Massey University). Dr Peebles’ thesis in his Doctoral Study was Power and influences on the Board’s agenda: Who determines what corporate directors discuss.

A speaker and writer on board governance he is the author of Parsley on Fish, or how corporate directors can learn to be more than decorative.

Our Services


Executive Search Activity

  • Chief Executive/Senior Executive Search (global, regional, domestic)

  • 'Hard to find' roles

  • Senior Executive remuneration recommendations

Accessing the best talent domestically and internationally, John shows one of the highest completion rates in the business. This uses in-depth research, well-formulated search strategies that drive a quality end goal and long-term client value.

Seeking out achievers in their field John believes it is his job to encourage those people to consider new challenges and talk with clients. 


A highly experienced director / chair in his own right with a Doctorate in Corporate Governance John has a formidable reputation for working constructively and confidentially with Boards on:

  • Director search/recruitment and background verification

  • Board composition and structure

  • Board process and diversity

  • Director Assessment

  • Board remuneration advice



parsley on fish

How corporate directors can be more than decorative.

When John finished his Doctorate in Corporate Governance there was a little unfinished business so John wrote this pragmatic and simple guide for Corporate Directors.

It is a collection from many sources of wisdom important for a Director to keep in mind as he/she works through an onerous task. This book sums up some of the key things Directors face in everyday issues and essentials.

It gives practical hints that keep a Director focused through the thick fog of governance information.

Copies of ‘Parsley on Fish – How corporate directors can be more than decorative’ are available for purchase at $39.95 each plus postage. Please contact Miriam Taylor on
+64 9 523 1013 or miriam@jpasearch.com to get yours today


Different Excerpt Monthly

Different Excerpt Monthly





Leadership - capturing hearts and minds

Not long ago, I was asked about the most memorable speeches by historical figures and what they teach us about how to lead in business. One topped the list: Martin Luther King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. 
    “I have a dream that one day…”
King repeated this phase in his speech, then exhorted, “Let freedom ring”. His final lines were: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” This speech, to over 250,000 civil rights supporters, was a defining moment for the movement and the 20th century.
Last October, Jacinda Ardern stood on the forecourt of Parliament and delivered her maiden speech as Prime Minister. She too captured hearts with messages of inclusivity, aspiration, collaboration and empathy.
What can business leaders borrow from the techniques they used?


Selecting your new CEO – the board pitfalls

If you are on a board that is selecting a new chief executive, you are on the most treacherous and swampy ground directors face. Most board directors have a very clear idea of their mandate, and all directors rate themselves able to recognise top management performers. So why do they so often get it wrong? 


What Aspiring Directors Should Know about the Not-for-Profit Sector

It’s easy to forget, in the often chaotic and cut-throat world of business, that all corporate organisations exist in society with the permission of that society. Most entities, in my experience, understand this, and take seriously the concept of corporate social responsibility. Some companies fund initiatives or activities with a social benefit out of a genuine desire to help their community, and others do it more with a mind to protecting their brand and bottom line. Either way, hopefully the benefits are widely felt.



High Altitude is a podcast about big business in New Zealand from the perspective of the decision-makers, the risk-takers and the money-makers. After nearly 40 years in executive recruitment, Dr John Peebles has amassed many interesting stories, and come to know hundreds of fascinating and talented people. He believes it’s time to share this inside industry knowledge on a public platform





PO Box 28-245, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand

Office (09) 523 10103 / John Peebles deskline (09) 524 1637