Top New Zealand businessman Scott Bartlett dies aged 40 after battle with brain cancer

Scott Bartlett
Scott Bartlett has been remembered as "one of New Zealand's most inspirational leaders". Photo credit: Supplied / Kordia Group

One of New Zealand's top businessmen, Scott Bartlett, has passed away aged 40.

Bartlett, who was chief executive of Kordia Group, Orcon and Quik internet during an impressive career, died following a battle with brain cancer, a statement on Tuesday said.

He had been diagnosed with multiple tumours of the brain in late 2019, and had stepped down as CEO of Kordia Group earlier this year to focus on his health.

In an emotional statement, Kordia chair John Quirk described Bartlett as one of New Zealand's most inspirational leaders.

"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," he said.

"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."

Bartlett's career spanned top positions across New Zealand's technology, business, and education sectors.

As well as his CEO stints, he had also served as a non-executive director at ASB, the Director of the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum and the Number Administration Deed, and a councillor for internet NZ and the University of Waikato.

He was also an advisory board councillor of the Pacific Telecommunications Council and on the Board of the Centre of Digital Excellence at the University of Auckland Business School.

He was appointed as CEO of Kordia in 2012, before taking over the Group chief executive role in 2016.

Kordia Group's chief financial officer Shaun Rendell, who has been acting CEO since Bartlett stepped away from the role, said Bartlett 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," Rendell said.

"He was known for his big, bold, courageous ideas - brought to life through his passion and ability to make things happen. It's hard to imagine Kordia being the place it is today without Scott's relentless drive evolving the business beyond our comfort zone to new heights.

"He will be sorely missed by everyone here."

Rendell remains acting CEO of Kordia Group.