Head of Lion Ventures, Lion
New Zealand born Monica Yianakis has always had a fascination with different cultures and growing inspirational brands. She completed her education across both Auckland and Singapore with a BCom/BSc in Marketing and Psychology at University of Auckland.
She has extensive experience working across the global FMCG sector for some of the world’s leading brands. She kicked off her career at Griffins in NZ before moving to the UK to work with Nestle Cereal Partners where she headed up Cheerios expansion into the UK from the USA and spearheaded cross-European consumer shared value ventures.
She then moved to Switzerland where she ran the Global New Products division for Nestle Cereal Partners before heading home to lead the Goodness Portfolio for Frucor - worth $180m - winning the Frucor Marketer of the year award in her tenure.
Monica’s time at Lion NZ, the nation’s largest alcohol and beverage company, started in 2016 where she was assigned to head up an incubator team called Lion Ventures, focused on exploring the future of sociability and carving out new business opportunities for Lion. With the rise of the shared, gig and experience economies, people are socialising differently and expecting more freedom and inclusion from the people, brands and businesses they engage with. Lion is adapting its offering to ensure it stays relevant. In May, Monica and her team will be launching the first of several transformational new ventures aimed at doing just that.