kathy karabatsas

Managing Director
Lion Dairy & Drinks

Kathy was appointed Managing Director Lion Dairy & Drinks in December 2017. She joined the Lion (then National Foods) business in 2006 and since then has held a number of senior financial and operational planning roles and led complex change programs within the Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) business. In 2013, Kathy was appointed as Finance Director for the business, including accountability for agricultural procurement. In 2016 she was also took on the role of Managing Director of Adjacent Business Units, being the Lion Speciality Cheese, Lion Dairy NZ and Vitasoy Australia businesses and in 2017 was appointed Managing Director for the Lion Dairy and Drinks business, for Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Kathy is a strong people leader with an inclusive leadership style and has deep experience in strategy, commercial finance and integrated business planning. She has also led several key transformation projects including the introduction of an integrated LDD planning process, the relocation of the Business Solutions function, the sale of LDD’s everyday cheese business in 2015 and the minority acquisition of the Remedy Drinks business in 2018.

Prior to joining Lion, Kathy worked in finance and strategy roles with large multinationals including BHP and ABB International. Kathy has a passion for supporting the homeless and together with her husband she operated crisis accommodation facilities in Melbourne for 20 years. In 2002, Kathy took a break from corporate life and managed the crisis accommodation facilities for three years, working together with local, state and federal government bodies to develop accommodation and drug rehabilitation programs for the homeless in Melbourne.

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