Our Executive Leadership Team

Our Executive Leadership Team ensures Callaghan Innovation is operationally sound and fit for purpose.

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Stefan Korn

Stefan Korn

Chief Executive

Stefan was appointed Chief Executive in September 2022. Prior to joining the executive leadership team as Chief Product Officer in 2021, Stefan was a member of the Callaghan Innovation Board for three years.

Stefan has launched and developed numerous successful business ventures, many of which are now operating in Australia, the US and Europe.

In a prior role as CEO of Creative HQ, Stefan led a team that launched accelerators for startups, government and corporates, inclusive innovation initiatives such as the Korero Matauranga (NZ's Education Summits), and international innovation training programmes.  

Stefan has a PhD in Neural Networks/Artificial Intelligence and an MBA in International Business. He has also authored a range of books on early-stage venture development as well as parenting for dads. In 2010 Stefan was recognised as a New Zealander of the Year by North & South Magazine for innovation in parenting education.

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Kirsty Bellringer

Chief Financial Officer

Kirsty joins us from Chorus, where she was most recently Head of Capability for Customer and Network Operations. Kirsty has forged a career in finance, working as a graduate with KPMG before getting into the telecommunications sector, where she has spent most of her career.

Kirsty has extensive experience in corporate finance, business planning and strategy development. Since 2014 she has held various finance and transformation roles at Chorus NZ, where she honed her skills analysing risk and opportunity to provide evidence-based sound recommendations; analysing and managing complex trade-offs; and leading/championing strategic change across complex ecosystems.

Kirsty graduated from Massey University in Palmerston North with a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in accountancy. She is a Chartered Accountant and a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

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Brett Calton (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Chief Product Officer

Brett has oversight of many of Callaghan Innovation's products and services, including R&D Funding, Innovation Skills, Technology Incubators, Founder Incubators and Accelerators

Brett joined Callaghan Innovation in 2020 and has held a variety of leadership roles since, including leading the Research and Development Tax Incentive through a period of substantial change.

Prior to joining Callaghan Innovation, Brett enjoyed a career in manufacturing and later consulting, advising public and private sector clients in New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. Brett has also founded and operated multiple businesses in consulting and hospitality.

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Jen Cherrington