David Charlesworth, Comworth’s Managing Director and founder, was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame at the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards on 28 August as 2008’s laureate. Charlesworth joins an elite group of laureates inducted since 2004, including The Warehouse’s Stephen Tindall, Navman’s Peter Maire and Mainzeal’s Peter Menzies.
“David thoroughly deserves to take his place amongst the other laureates honoured by the business community in the past four years,” said Terry Hoskins, Enterprise North Shore’s Chief Executive.
Twenty-five years ago, Charlesworth set up Comworth Systems Ltd in Mairangi Bay, with his wife, in order to represent OKI Electric of Japan. “I’d been in the telecommunications business all my life,” Charlesworth explained. “I knew they [OKI] didn’t have an effective channel to market here and saw huge opportunities.”
After having worked for NZ Post in its Telecom days, then for major British-based telecommunications company Plessie, Charlesworth chose to leave the corporate arena and asked himself what it was he really wanted to do with his life. One thing he knew was that he wanted to be able to spend more time with his family.
“It started as just myself and my wife; then we hired a salesman. OKI had patents for the first thermal head on a facsimile machine – they developed the first continuous paper fax – which we introduced to the New Zealand market,” Charlesworth recalled.
Today, Charlesworth is chairman of the board and the main shareholder of what has developed into three companies – Comworth Systems, Comtel and Agile – employing approximately 160 people.
“I am deeply honoured to become a North Shore Business Hall of Fame Laureate,” said Charlesworth. “When you look over the list of names that have been inducted since 2004, it’s a ‘who’s who’ of North Shore business excellence, and I am extremely proud and humbled to have my name added this year.” By Jess Meyer