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David Hewish

David Hewish 

Co-founder of Leaders on Demand and Turnaround Executive

+61 478 881 347

With international experience as Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer across numerous sectors, David understands the courage and commitment demanded of a leadership team that strives to deliver the full potential of their organisation.

David is known for building teams who thrive in response to adversity and sustain performance under intense scrutiny. His courageous leadership style and muck-in attitude are the hallmarks of over twenty complex turnarounds with billions of dollars and thousands of jobs at stake.

Never shy of jumping into hairy situations and leading tough conversations, his record is distinguished by the curiosity he inspires to confirm everyone’s role in executing the chosen strategy.

Career History

David's Passion has always been helping CEOs and their teams apply a growth mindset to build sustainable value.

Prior to moving to Australia, David was Managing Director of AlixPartners' Turnaround and Restructuring practice in London. He held c-suite roles at Saab Automobile (General Motors), WorldPay, Celsa Steel, Vion Food Group, DryDocks World and Foster Wheeler and played a pivotal interim role in the oft cited turnaround of Howden Joinery Group.

A professional civil engineer who subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant, David quenched his thirst for learning by working with industry’s most respected leaders. His mentor list reads like a who’s who of turnaround legends; including Joyce Jackson, Donald Muir, David Lovett and Pippa Wicks.

Leadership Highlights

Left the comfort of equity partnership in a professional services firm to set up a disruptive model that provides scalable execution capacity for CEOs whose big agendas cannot be constrained by the traditional fixed leadership team.

Accepted the interim Global Chief Financial Officer role at Saab Automobile during the auto industry crisis.

Stepped in as the Chief Restructuring Officer of DryDocks World (Dubai World) during the global financial crisis.

Led the transformations of two global managed technology services businesses.

Appointed interim Chairman of a venture capital backed green-tech business and re-established alignment between investors, directors and the executive team.

Won the IFT’s “Rising Star” award in recognition of his interim leadership role as part of the US Treasury’s bail out of the auto industry.

Saved the loss-making MFI Furniture Group Plc and transformed it to create Howden Joinery Plc that won the IFT's "Turnaround of the Year" award and grew market capitalisation by more than GBP three billion.

Stabilised and rebuilt the operating model of a pan-European EPC contractor with billions of Euros of loss-making backlog and restricted access to liquidity and bonding facilities.

Averted the closure of last remaining steel mill in Wales and turned the business around with a “Green Steel” strategy acting as Chief Restructuring Officer of Celsa Steel during the European banking crisis.

BEng (hons) Civil Engineering, Fellow Chartered Accountant (ICAEW), MIFT, MAICD, IECL Organisational Coach, Dare to LeadTM Trained, Emotional Culture Deck 'Elephant Rider'

Construction, Media, Engineering, Telecoms, Industrials, Automotive, Technology, Mining, Financial Services, Private Equity

General Management, Finance & Treasury, Strategy, Transformation & Restructuring, Special Situations NED, Board Chair

Crisis Stabilisation & Turnarounds, Complex Transactions, Enterprise-wide Transformations, Leadership Transitions, High-speed Growth, Start-ups

Favourite quotes
The only safe ship in a storm, is leadershipFaye Wattleton
People buy into the leader, before they buy into the visionJohn C Maxwell

“I joined Leaders on Demand...

... as one of the three co-founders who identified the desperate need for CEOs and their teams to overcome the fixed execution capacity that constrains ambition. My passion has always been helping executive leaders and their teams apply a growth mindset to build sustainable value out of adversity. Leaders on Demand scales leadership to match ambition.”

“When I'm not at work...

... I am privileged to support talented military veterans who bring highly sought after leadership skills to civilian organisations. I enjoy bushwalking through the D'Aguilar Range and try to take my temperamental Alfa Romeo GTV for a run whenever the pain of last repair has faded sufficiently. I also enthusiastically play tennis... poorly.”