Head of WOW quits for family

Last updated 13:00 26/11/2013

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The chief executive of World of WearableArt, Meg Matthews, is stepping down after less than two years.

She joined the company in April last year, saying it was her dream job.

Her role was to manage the World of WearableArt team and further evaluate opportunities for the expansion of the WOW brand internationally.

Now she intends stepping down from the role early next year, saying it was for personal reasons as she wanted to spend more time with her young family.

She said the directors were shocked and disappointed at her decision.

Her departure comes after the Government this month announced a cash injection of almost $1 million would allow the show to tour Britain, Europe and North America.

Ms Matthews said: "It's been a fantastic journey and a great brand. The best time to resign is immediately after a show not before it.

"We have made some significant progress in two years - it feels like we have done four years in two."

There had been three stages to the international development, firstly setting the strategy, secondly securing the funding and finally the implementation. The first two stages had been achieved and Ali Boswijk had been appointed to implement the third, with external assistance.

"I am very pleased and proud we crossed the first two hurdles," Ms Matthews said.

Previously the head of Australasia marking for Air New Zealand, she said the family had made the call to move from Auckland to Nelson and with two children aged 8 and 6, she wanted to spend time with them.

She said she would like to help with some other brands but part-time.

WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff said she was shocked but pleased Ms Matthews was staying on during the recruitment for a new general manager.

"Meg has done great things and made some great progress. She worked very hard on the international expansion and that has resulted in the funding for the first international Off the Wall exhibition.

"Meg has achieved what she out to do and we are pleased she is staying in Nelson."

Ms Matthews took up the job when former chief executive Gabrielle Hervey stepped down after almost three years.

In March 2009, Warwick Hastie secured the role of general manager of the Nelson-based World of WearableArt, but a month later he left the organisation and returned to Australia.

Ms Hervey stepped back up to resume running the company.

WOW is to recruit to appoint a new general manager.

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