Auckland Transport Appoints New CEO

Shane Ellison to take the reins of Auckland Transport


From Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport appoints new Chief Executive

Auckland Transport has appointed Shane Ellison as its new Chief Executive.

Shane Ellison Headshot
Shane Ellison Auckland Transport new CEO Source: Auckland Transport

Mr Ellison is a returning New Zealander with whakapapa linking him to the iwi of Ngai Tahu and Te Ati Awa. He has had more than 20 years of global experience in senior leadership roles across the transport and infrastructure sectors in complex commercial, political and organisational environments.

Since 2011, Mr Ellison has held a number of senior executive roles of increasing responsibility in Transdev Australasia, including being the senior executive responsible for the delivery of Transdev’s operations across ferry, bus and light rail in New South Wales and Queensland.

In these roles, Mr Ellison was instrumental in delivering exceptional customer experience, workplace safety and patronage outcomes.

Prior to 2011 Mr Ellison was located in Paris with Transdev where he was responsible for global corporate development and innovation, playing a key leadership role in large transport infrastructure projects in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

“What particularly impressed the selection panel was Shane’s leadership capacity, innovative mindset, mix of operational experience coupled with a deep understanding of transformative change and the importance of putting the customer at the heart of everything we do,” says Auckland Transport Chairman Dr Lester Levy.

“In a first, Shane was selected in an exemplar of a collaborative approach between a CCO and the Mayor, with the Mayor, AT Deputy Chairman, Wayne Donnelly and myself fully involved in the selection process from the outset. Pippa Coom (Chair of the Waitemata Local Board) and Renata Blair (Member of the Independent Maori Statutory Board) were both involved in the final selection panel.”

“Mr Ellison was unanimously selected by both the panel and the AT Board for this role. It is good to have a returning Kiwi who will bring years of overseas experience to AT as well as familiarity with our city and culture,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

“Auckland is facing rapid changes in the transport space and I am confident that Mr Ellison will work with Council to implement a transport strategy focused not only on reducing congestion but also on better public transport that is responsive to the needs of this city.”

Mr Ellison says, “Being part of that, and part of an organisation that can help to shape and influence that change is incredibly exciting.”

He says he will place a particular emphasis on organisational strategy, innovation and customer focus in the role.

Dr Levy confirmed the remuneration for Shane Ellison at $575,000 per annum, significantly less than equivalent positions in the private sector and well within the remuneration band for the role demonstrating the financial prudence of AT’s Board. The remuneration does not have a bonus scheme attached to it.

“I am pleased that the Auckland Transport Board has been responsive to my request for fiscal prudence in setting a lower remuneration, which can be difficult when you are competing in an international market for the best person,” says Mayor Goff.

Both Dr Levy and the Mayor acknowledged the excellent contribution that David Warburton has made as the organisation’s founding Chief Executive.

“During David’s time he has brought multiple legacy organisations into a single united organisation that has delivered many significant projects of world-class scale and complexity. But his true legacy is leaving behind an organisation with a culture and capability that is well positioned to meet the many transport challenges Auckland faces into the future,” says Dr Levy.

Mr Ellison will join Auckland Transport on 11 December for a handover from Mr Warburton.

CV for Shane Ellison

July 2017 –
Global Development Role

July 2016 – July 2017
Chief Operating Officer (NSW & QLD) / Deputy Director of Business Development (Australasia)

December 2015 – July 2016
Managing Director (NSW) / Director of Business Development (Australasia)

November 2012 – November 2015
Managing Director (NSW) / Deputy Director of Business Development (Australasia)

August 2011 – October 2012
Deputy Director of Business Development (Australasia)

October 2007 – August 2011
Project Director Corporate Development & Innovation Paris

April 2005 – September 2007
General Manager Veolia Transport Sydney





Looking at Shane’s CV above he has an extremely strong background in regards to heavy rail, light rail and ferries. Rather interestingly Auckland has both heavy rail (run by Transdev), ferries and is planning a massive pipeline worth of light rail projects. So at least our new Auckland Transport CEO has the critical experience in delivering those projects when they are further rolled out here in Auckland.


Shane Ellison takes over from outgoing CEO Dr David Warburton on December 11.