Today Beau Leese, our General Manager of Strategy, Performance and Flagships Program, was named as one of the six AFR-Boss Magazine Young Executives of the Year for 2013.

The Young Executive of the Year awards recognise the achievements of outstanding young leaders, identifying six young Aussies with the necessary skills, talent and drive.

Beau is in good company, with colleagues Glen Platt (2011) and James Moody (2007) also previous winners.

“I’m really delighted that we have now had more winners of this award than any other Australian organisation, from our Energy, Environment and Corporate teams,” Beau said.

“I think this is very much a testament to the high regard CSIRO is held in, the breadth and calibre of professional management capability, and the development opportunities available across our organisation.”

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A high flyer: Beau Leese named one of the six AFR-Boss Magazine Young Executives of the Year for 2013.

As part of the application process, Beau was put through his paces spending a “day in the life” as a simulated CEO of a fictional global robotics company in 2040 (something like Stark Industries, we presume).

The rigorous 10 hour day included a pounding flow of emails and quick decision making on short-term crises and long-term strategic problems. All while preparing a major presentation on a new business strategy for the global chief executive.

Following this was a panel interview with questions ranging from standard interview style to ‘what will be on your tombstone’. “I had to stop and think about that,” Beau said. “Hopefully daisies.”

“The question about ‘why are you doing what you’re doing now?’ was a lot easier. My career is about innovation – a fundamental belief that our capacity for successful innovation is the key to a better future – whether as a business, as a nation, as a species.”

“And that’s why I’m here at CSIRO. We’re a world class innovation organisation, delivering positive impact with business, government and research partners every day, building on the efforts of many who’ve come before us. I’m really privileged to be able to try and support and advance that work.”

The other award finalists come from industries ranging across advertising, wealth management, food distribution, mining services and retail. Read more on the AFR website [$].