New head of Specsavers NZ
Experienced franchise leader Mike Ledingham picks up the reins from Brendan Thompson

New head of Specsavers NZ

March 31, 2024 Staff reporters

Specsavers has appointed Mike Ledingham as its New Zealand country director, replacing Brendan Thompson, who’s been with the group since it launched in Aotearoa in 2008.


Having been a franchise partner and franchisor (and on a few occasions, both!) in New Zealand over the past 20 years, Ledingham brings a wealth of experience to his new role, said Dominic Savill, Specsavers ANZ retail director. “Most recently, Mike was general manager of the largest independent bedding group in New Zealand, BedsRus. I know he’s already passionate about our partnership, excited to get started and keen to learn more about where and how he can best support our optics and audiology partners and in-store teams.”


Ledingham joined Specsavers as a customer 14 years ago when he got his first pair of glasses and said he has been a long-time fan. “I think Specsavers has a fantastic way of supporting its store partners to thrive and I align with the organisation’s vision and values.”


Ledingham’s Specsavers role is his fourth in franchise leadership over the past 20 years. These roles encompassed finance, food service and retail, and included owning and operating 13 franchises in various partnership structures. “I believe partnerships, whether joint venture, shared venture or individual franchise ownerships, all operate based on relationships,” he said. His immediate priorities include meeting store partners and building an understanding of both the optics and audiology businesses, he said. “I feel privileged to take over a business that’s in great shape and has had a great leader in Brendan Thompson, which really does allow me to spend time focusing on building those relationships.”


Outside of work, one of Ledingham’s passions is cooking, especially participating in BBQ competitions. “Last year, my teammate and I were lucky enough to be the first team not from the US to win the Jack Daniel’s World Championship for cooking brisket!”