Jo Pearson

Jo Pearson

Chief Executive Officer

Chief executive officer Jo Pearson is a future-focussed professional with more than 20 years’ experience in New Zealand’s wine and FMCG industries.

Appointed in January 2024, Jo brings her innate understanding of the challenges and nuances of producing a premium product for an export market to the Deep Creek Fruits board. Her expertise spans the value chain – from the orchard to sales and marketing – a unique opportunity to combine her commercial and operational capabilities.

Her key capabilities include strategy facilitation and development, commercial nous across multiple functions, stakeholder engagement and communication, and leadership and collaboration. Skills and knowledge in horticultural and business sustainability are an evolving passion.

Jo ensures the board effectively sets and implements its strategic direction, tracks company progress and reports outcomes to the board and its shareholders. She relocated from Napier to Wanaka to work closely with the operational and orchard teams and to experience the ebbs and flows of the crop cycle first hand.

A qualified viticulturalist with a business management degree, Jo’s near seven-year viticultural tenure saw her lead the management of vineyards in the Hawkes Bay and Marlborough regions as well as manage a large portfolio of growers across both regions at a time when the wine industry was experiencing exponential growth and expansion. From there, she transitioned into sales and marketing management, business strategy and project management roles, notably during the Global Financial Crisis when the wine market crashed, presenting unprecedented challenges and requiring new strategies and a steely nerve to maintain business viability.

Through her wine industry experience, Jo developed a deep understanding of export markets and customer demands. These transferrable skills and knowledge she applies to the cherry industry. She also has experience in developing and refining brand presence including steering consumer campaigns and packaging evolutions.

Jo has a Bachelor of Management Studies (marketing and international management) from the University of Waikato, Hamilton and a post graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University, Christchurch. She has undertaken multiple professional development courses and programs focusing on leadership, negotiation skills, governance and directorship, and sustainability reporting certification and strategies.