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Leadership Team

Darrin Grafton

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder


Darrin has 25 years' experience in the travel technology industry and is highly experienced in technology commercialisation. He previously held senior management positions with Gullivers Travel Group (listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange between 2004 and 2006) and Interactive Technologies.

Darrin was awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award in 2007 and was a finalist for the NZ Hi-Tech Company Leader Award in 2007. In 2008 he was also a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Darrin is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ and NZCDP.

Darrin Grafton

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder


Darrin has 25 years' experience in the travel technology industry and is highly experienced in technology commercialisation. He previously held senior management positions with Gullivers Travel Group (listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange between 2004 and 2006) and Interactive Technologies.

Darrin was awarded the NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur Award in 2007 and was a finalist for the NZ Hi-Tech Company Leader Award in 2007. In 2008 he was also a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Darrin is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ and NZCDP.

Charlie Nowaczek

Chief Operating Officer


Charlie has over 25 years of experience as an operations executive and management adviser, specializing in business transformation and operational excellence. Over the last decade he has been COO for a number of technology start-ups in the US and Canada, including most recently, Kinetic Social - a social media and technology company, where he was part of the founding team.

Prior to these entrepreneurial endeavours, Charlie has been a consultant for PIPC, PA Consulting and Parsons Brinckerhoff, focusing on the delivery of complex change programmes for a variety of U.S. and European clients.

Charlie Nowaczek

Chief Operating Officer


Charlie has over 25 years of experience as an operations executive and management adviser, specializing in business transformation and operational excellence. Over the last decade he has been COO for a number of technology start-ups in the US and Canada, including most recently, Kinetic Social - a social media and technology company, where he was part of the founding team.

Prior to these entrepreneurial endeavours, Charlie has been a consultant for PIPC, PA Consulting and Parsons Brinckerhoff, focusing on the delivery of complex change programmes for a variety of U.S. and European clients.

Susan Putt

Chief Financial Officer


Susan has over 25 years experience working in New Zealand and has also worked in Australia and Canada. She is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. Susan has worked as CFO, Head of Strategy, and Director for a number of New Zealand businesses including Airways Corporation, Genesis Power, Metrowater, Simpl Group and Radiola Corporation.

Over the last 10 years Susan has specialised in contract CFO engagements working with high growth companies. 

Susan Putt

Chief Financial Officer


Susan has over 25 years experience working in New Zealand and has also worked in Australia and Canada. She is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. Susan has worked as CFO, Head of Strategy, and Director for a number of New Zealand businesses including Airways Corporation, Genesis Power, Metrowater, Simpl Group and Radiola Corporation.

Over the last 10 years Susan has specialised in contract CFO engagements working with high growth companies. 

Bob Shaw

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder


Bob has 30 years' experience creating and commercialising technology for the travel industry. He has held a number of directorships and senior management positions in various high-profile ventures including Gullivers Travel Group (listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange between 2004 and 2006) and Interactive Technologies.

Bob's strengths lie in his ability to translate opportunities into successful commercial ventures and build the relationships necessary to see them through to fruition. In 2008, Bob was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ and NZCDP.

Bob Shaw

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder


Bob has 30 years' experience creating and commercialising technology for the travel industry. He has held a number of directorships and senior management positions in various high-profile ventures including Gullivers Travel Group (listed on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange between 2004 and 2006) and Interactive Technologies.

Bob's strengths lie in his ability to translate opportunities into successful commercial ventures and build the relationships necessary to see them through to fruition. In 2008, Bob was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is a member of the Institute of IT Professionals NZ, the Institute of Directors NZ and NZCDP.

Philip Ball

Chief Technical Officer


Philip has been a cornerstone of the Serko technology story since 1999. After graduating with a Bachelor of Information Systems degree he joined Serko as a Junior Developer and moved up through the ranks, being appointed CTO in 2013.

Philip wrote much of the original Serko Online code, having started working on the product in 2000. Since then he has guided the company’s technology strategy and now provides leadership across the technology function. He was a finalist for the title of New Zealand Software Developer of the year award in 2011 and is listed in New Zealands CIO Top 100 for 2017. 

Philip Ball

Chief Technical Officer


Philip has been a cornerstone of the Serko technology story since 1999. After graduating with a Bachelor of Information Systems degree he joined Serko as a Junior Developer and moved up through the ranks, being appointed CTO in 2013.

Philip wrote much of the original Serko Online code, having started working on the product in 2000. Since then he has guided the company’s technology strategy and now provides leadership across the technology function. He was a finalist for the title of New Zealand Software Developer of the year award in 2011 and is listed in New Zealands CIO Top 100 for 2017. 

John Challis

Chief Revenue Officer


John has 17 years' experience in the Australian corporate travel industry. He specialises in market activation and technical sales for Asia Pacific businesses. Prior to working for Serko, John held senior roles with Carlson Wagonlit Travel and STA Travel.

John Challis

Chief Revenue Officer


John has 17 years' experience in the Australian corporate travel industry. He specialises in market activation and technical sales for Asia Pacific businesses. Prior to working for Serko, John held senior roles with Carlson Wagonlit Travel and STA Travel.

Joanne Phipps

Head of Product


An integral member of the Serko product team for over 20 years, Jo has been responsible for the training, implementation and on-site support of Serko Online in its early days, through to her current role in leading the product team. With a focus on enhancing the definition and growth of Serko Travel and Expense in the marketplace, Jo oversees the development of the product’s roadmap, working closely with development, testing, marketing and sales teams within the business.

Prior to Serko, Jo held management roles within the Budget Travel retail travel chain for 10 years and as such carries a wealth of knowledge about the travel industry.

Joanne Phipps

Head of Product


An integral member of the Serko product team for over 20 years, Jo has been responsible for the training, implementation and on-site support of Serko Online in its early days, through to her current role in leading the product team. With a focus on enhancing the definition and growth of Serko Travel and Expense in the marketplace, Jo oversees the development of the product’s roadmap, working closely with development, testing, marketing and sales teams within the business.

Prior to Serko, Jo held management roles within the Budget Travel retail travel chain for 10 years and as such carries a wealth of knowledge about the travel industry.

Tony Stanley

Chief Client Officer


Tony has more than 20 years’ experience in technology companies (10 years with the Serko product) and travel related organisations managing teams and leading profit centres.  He is responsible for the Service Team where he manages Professional Services and the Customer Support Centre.

Tony spent nearly five years at Datacom Systems establishing a solid client base with multimillion dollar accounts. Prior to that his travel industry experience included, Branch Manager of United Holidays and Operations Manager of Travelplan Holidays.

Tony Stanley

Chief Client Officer


Tony has more than 20 years’ experience in technology companies (10 years with the Serko product) and travel related organisations managing teams and leading profit centres.  He is responsible for the Service Team where he manages Professional Services and the Customer Support Centre.

Tony spent nearly five years at Datacom Systems establishing a solid client base with multimillion dollar accounts. Prior to that his travel industry experience included, Branch Manager of United Holidays and Operations Manager of Travelplan Holidays.

Fiona Rockel

People and Performance Manager


Fiona has worked in organisation development and change, HR and talent management roles across a diverse range of industries for more than 20 years. Having spent her early career in consulting with KPMG, she then moved to the UK where she spent 5 years in professional services and charity sectors. Returning to New Zealand she’s led the people function in organisations in FMCG, technology and professional services sectors. She believes that whether you’re all about technology & travel, ice-cream or charity, high performing organisations are created by engaged and passionate employees with a clear view of where we’re all headed. Her job is to create that high performing organisation with our people.

Fiona Rockel

People and Performance Manager


Fiona has worked in organisation development and change, HR and talent management roles across a diverse range of industries for more than 20 years. Having spent her early career in consulting with KPMG, she then moved to the UK where she spent 5 years in professional services and charity sectors. Returning to New Zealand she’s led the people function in organisations in FMCG, technology and professional services sectors. She believes that whether you’re all about technology & travel, ice-cream or charity, high performing organisations are created by engaged and passionate employees with a clear view of where we’re all headed. Her job is to create that high performing organisation with our people.

Gerard Nielsen

General Manager China


Gerard has been working with innovative technologies for over 20 years; first starting his own document imaging company and for the past 10 years working for Serko. He has gained extensive knowledge of the Serko product suite and the travel industry which enabled him to move to China and build a remote branch office. Initially employed as a developer, he now manages the office in China which employees 20 staff in all areas of the business.

Gerard Nielsen

General Manager China


Gerard has been working with innovative technologies for over 20 years; first starting his own document imaging company and for the past 10 years working for Serko. He has gained extensive knowledge of the Serko product suite and the travel industry which enabled him to move to China and build a remote branch office. Initially employed as a developer, he now manages the office in China which employees 20 staff in all areas of the business.

Steven Dove

Lead Architect


Steven graduated with a Bachelor of Computing Systems in 1999. Before joining Serko, he spent 10 years at Sandfield developing travel booking and fare search systems. During his 3 years at Serko, Steven has been been lead architect on our mobile and serko.travel projects.

Steven Dove

Lead Architect


Steven graduated with a Bachelor of Computing Systems in 1999. Before joining Serko, he spent 10 years at Sandfield developing travel booking and fare search systems. During his 3 years at Serko, Steven has been been lead architect on our mobile and serko.travel projects.

Nick O'Connor

Head of Finance


Nick has over 10 years’ experience working as a Chartered Accountant.  He has worked as Finance manager for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s copyright licensing group in the UK and upon returning to NZ took up the role of Financial Controller and then Head of Finance at Serko.

Nick O'Connor

Head of Finance


Nick has over 10 years’ experience working as a Chartered Accountant.  He has worked as Finance manager for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s copyright licensing group in the UK and upon returning to NZ took up the role of Financial Controller and then Head of Finance at Serko.

Darrin Grafton

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Charlie Nowaczek

Chief Operating Officer

Susan Putt

Chief Financial Officer

Bob Shaw

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder

Philip Ball

Chief Technical Officer

John Challis

Chief Revenue Officer

Joanne Phipps

Head of Product

Tony Stanley

Chief Client Officer

Fiona Rockel

People and Performance Manager

Gerard Nielsen

General Manager China

Steven Dove

Lead Architect

Nick O'Connor

Head of Finance

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