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Anita Dorwald

Anita Dorwald

On Demand Leader, People-led Transformation Specialist and Chief Operating Officer

+61 421 384 411

Recognised as an inspirational leader who is able to quickly and effectively unite teams under a single purpose and vision, Anita brings stability and clarity through both calm and crisis. She sees the whole picture and can pivot quickly between whole of business strategy, to the granular detail of process.

With over two decades as a senior executive with multi-disciplinary experience across a variety of senior leadership roles in Operations, Human Resources, Retail management, and ICT/Innovation, Anita brings a combination of functional and humanist insight to the table. She has strong expertise in organisational transformation, involving the application of technology and driving innovation.

Neuroscience studies, and the ability to quickly build trust and rapport, complement her grassroots experience, allowing her to step confidently into situations requiring a high degree of EQ and nuanced interpersonal management. Anita manages teams of all sizes and maturity, from 20 - 5,000, domestic to global.

Career History

After a nomadic start to life that saw her live in over 20 countries before her 15th birthday, Anita began her career as an entrepreneur, pioneering a jet ski rental business on the Adriatic coast. This later translated into a retail career spanning recycled goods, books, activewear, street fashion and food categories.

In an attempt to supercharge her leadership skills, Anita studied HR and found herself heading up the People and Culture function for almost 6 years at iconic Australian youth retailer, City Beach.

Her love of operations and innovation led her back to the coalface of the business in 2011, and she spent the next 10 years transforming the foundations of the company as the COO. Having safely navigated major changes across ERP core systems, ecommerce, supply chain and organisational design, Anita left in 2020 to take up the Group COO role at Lorna Jane.

Her short remit involved introducing governance and strategy, an innovation roadmap, and improved organisational capability into this equally iconic activewear brand. Anita left in 2022 to start her own consultancy, focusing on soft diligence work, as well as coaching, strategic planning and helping small to medium size enterprises optimise their operations.

Leadership Highlights

Set the tone, pace and vision for domestic and global teams

Successfully hired, coached, developed, and mentored over 50 leaders into senior and c-suite executive roles

Led the recovery of a $300 million business from a ransomware attack that effectively paralysed all back-end operations

Navigated multiple entities through high profile PR/communication challenges involving Fair Work, ACCC and other groups

Pioneered the use of psychological safety assessment software.

Re engineered processes & developed frameworks across retail, HR, supply chain, risk, compliance, finance, IT, marketing & ecommerce

Advanced Diploma of Neuroscience of Leadership, Dip HR & Mgmt, MAICD, JP Qual

Retail, Technology, Private Equity, Family-owned Business

Senior Leadership, Strategy, Brand Management, People and Culture, Organisational Design, Operations, Change Management, eCommerce, Retail, Communications, Supply Chain, Technology, Manufacturing, Risk & Compliance, Process Engineering

M&A Preparation, Crisis Management, Whole-enterprise Transformation, Single-function Optimisation, Rapid Growth, Crisis Management, Start-ups, Scale-ups, Consolidations

Favourite quotes
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right” Henry Ford
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou

“I joined Leaders on Demand...

... because I want to be part of a team that can mobilise to offer the best solution at the right time, whatever the challenge. I am committed to sharing my knowledge, learnings, and experience so others may benefit, and LOD offers me this opportunity”

“When I'm not at work...

... I prioritise family, friends, laughter, creativity, and color. I direct my energy into painting, designing costume jewellery, interior decorating, collecting vintage pieces, kayaking, reading, hosting dinners, lying in the sunshine, smiling, and listening to the birds”