Global Payments Fintech Airwallex Appoints Luke Latham as Australia, New Zealand GM

Australian-born payments company Airwallex has appointed Luke Latham as General Manager for its Australia and New Zealand business.

Latham joins Airwallex following senior roles “with Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Groupon and most recently as Chief Operating Officer for MILKRUN.”

Airwallex CEO and Co-founder Jack Zhang said Latham’s deep experience “in businesses disrupting traditional industries made him the right choice for Airwallex’s expansion in the region.”

Zhang said:

“We did an extensive global search to find the right person to lead our business locally because Australia is where we started and it is a special place for Airwallex. Luke is the right person to help Airwallex expand and build on the more than 15,000 Australian and New Zealand business customers we work with. Luke will be a key part of our future success as we grow our network that now spans across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle-East.”

Airwallex in Australia and New Zealand has “grown its customer base from 6,000+ to more than 15,000 in the last year, adding a range of customers recently including Kogan,, Camilla, EUC, HiSmile, BFT, RATIONALE and Ecosa.”

They join other Australian and New Zealand Airwallex customers “including Qantas, Culture Kings, Stake, Mr Yum and Assembly Label.”

Airwallex started in Melbourne in 2015 and now “employs around 200 staff in Australia and 1,400 globally, with plans to grow its workforce by more than 400 through the remainder of the year.”

The business was “valued at US$5.5 billion at its October 2022 Series E fundraising.”

Latham said the banking and financial system “was ripe for disruption as one the last areas of corporate Australia and New Zealand that hadn’t been turned on its head by technology.”

Latham said.

“Uncertain economic environments are catalysts for disruption and I think Airwallex is in the right place with the right technology and right infrastructure to be at the forefront of that change. There’s huge opportunity to remove the pain points and high costs you get from traditional banking and financial services. Airwallex has seen phenomenal growth because businesses see the appeal of an alternative to the traditional banks across their needs in payments, treasury, expense management and embedded finance. I’m excited to lead a team in Australia and New Zealand made up of some of the smartest and most ambitious disruptors in the region.”

As noted in the update, Luke Latham reportedly “brings more than 14 years’ experience in fast-paced and fast-growing technology businesses to his role as General Manager for Airwallex in Australia and New Zealand.”

He leads “the commercial and operations functions of the business across the region from his base in Airwallex’s Sydney office.”

The opportunity “to reshape the global payments and financial landscape attracted Luke to Airwallex.”

He has a proven track record in “scaling hyper-growth businesses with global footprints and triple-digit annual growth rates.”

Luke started his career “at Microsoft before leading e-commerce strategy for global marketplace Groupon in Australia and New Zealand.”

He spent more than eight years “working for Amazon Web Services and Amazon across the USA and Australia in a variety of senior product, strategy, go-to-market and general management roles. Luke was most recently Chief Operating Officer for grocery delivery startup MILKRUN (acquired by Woolworths Group).”

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