Ex-Kordia CEO Scott Bartlett dead at 40 after cancer battle

One of the highest-profile personalities on the New Zealand tech scene has died age 40, after losing his battle with cancer.

“It is with deep sadness that Kordia Group announces its former CEO, Scott Bartlett, has passed away following a valiant and courageous fight against brain cancer,” Kordia Group said in a statement this morning.

“Scott was one of the most respected business leaders in New Zealand. He had a brilliant mind and a natural ability to motivate the very best in the people around him,” Kordia Group acting CEO Shaun Rendell said.

“While this is an immensely sad day for us all, Scott’s life and achievements – particularly at such a young age – are a legacy to be admired and celebrated. His vision, his passion for life and creating a workplace where everyone had an opportunity to thrive are what made him such an incredible leader. He was always an advocate for diversity and was very proud of his work with the LGBTQ+ community. The New Zealand business community has lost an outstanding person,” Kordia Chair John Quirk said.

Bartlett stepped down as the state-owned company’s chief executive on October 2 to focus on his health.

In August last year, Bartlett was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours, and began a leave-of-absence.

“After undergoing a period of remission, he returned in January 2020 to resume his role but unfortunately become ill again two months ago,” Kordia said this morning.

Bartlett, who chronicled his illness via his Instagram account,was just five years out of university when the ISP he was working for, Orcon, was sold by founder Seeby Woodhouse to Kordia for $24.3 million in 2007.


A post shared by Scott Bartlett (@scottbartlettnz)

While Woodhouse (now running Voyager) exited stage-left with the deal, Bartlett stayed on – at first running Orcon as a division within Kordia, then rising through the ranks to run Kordia Group as a whole.

Kordia chairman John Quirk said earlier that Bartlett led Kordia to new heights during his tenure with the company.

“When Scott was first appointed CEO of Kordia Group in 2016, we were largely known as a broadcasting and networks company. His leadership has seen Kordia evolve into the digital era, becoming a leading provider in business technology. He was instrumental in developing our cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of Aura Information Security and advancing our focus on cloud connectivity and transformation,” Quirk said when Bartlett stepped down as chief executive.

“The work Scott has done with Kordia speaks for itself. He is one of the most talented business people in New Zealand. Kordia is truly a better place to work because of Scott. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues at Kordia.”

Rendell will continue his role as acting croup CEO until a permanent replacement for Scott is appointed.

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