Meet our Executives
The Costa Executive Leadership Team provides comprehensive strategic leadership and day-to-day operational support across the entire group. It brings together leaders within Costa who have extensive experience, skills and knowledge in the areas of finance, human resources, procurement, logistics, marketing and communications.
The team’s mandate is to drive consistent business growth and create career opportunities for our staff. We are privileged to attract such talented and capable people into these key roles.
The Costa name has been synonymous with fresh fruit and vegetable produce for more than 120 years. What began as a small retail outlet has grown to become Australia's largest fresh produce business.
This growth has been achieved through a strong consumer focus emphasising product quality, service and innovation.
To continue to grow as a business we must introduce stronger post harvest management and a dynamic quality system that enhances our reputation among our consumers.
We must also attract new consumers and contracts that enable us to demonstrate our capacity to deliver our supply chain in an efficient and innovative way. None of this can be achieved without our our most valuable asset: our employees.
By providing clear and effective leadership through supporting our key managers, Costa ensures that all of our employees have clarity and direction as to the company's goals and objectives. This not only empowers them, but provides them with the room they need to successfully get on with their jobs.
Our people are the key to allowing Costa to pursue new opportunities while adapting to change, and working together to grow our organisation for the future.
CEO & Director
Harry Debney was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Costa in September 2010 and is responsible for ensuring the successful growth and performance of the business. Harry oversaw the company's successful transition from a private business to a publicly listed entity in July 2015 and is driving Costa's growth program.
Prior to joining Costa, Harry spent 24 years at Visy Industries, the last 8 years as CEO for one of the world’s largest privately owned packaging and recycling companies. In this role Harry substantially grew the Visy business through acquisitions and organic growth and oversaw a progressive renewal of core manufacturing assets to ensure that Visy had the most advanced technology, and lowest cost manufacturing base in the industry.
Having previously worked as an Assistant General Manager for Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Harry has a detailed knowledge and understanding of fresh produce production and distribution.
Harry has an Honours degree in Applied Science and was awarded the University of Queensland Gatton Gold Medal in 2001.
Harry is also currently a Director of Kogan.com and was appointed Chairman of The Yield in April 2018.
Chief Financial Officer
Linda Kow joined Costa in January 2011 working primarily with produce categories in a broad ranging strategy, commercial and business process improvement context.
Linda was appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer in September 2012, and is responsible for the overall financial management of Costa, overseeing M&A, business strategy and IT.
Linda has worked in a variety of finance and commercial roles at companies including Deloitte, Village Cinemas International and eight years in strategy and business development at Visy Industries.
Chief Operating Officer
Sean Hallahan was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Costa in October 2017. He is responsible for leading all sales and operational activities across Costa’s farming, marketing and supply chain operations and for managing relationships with key alliance partners across all categories.
With an extensive career in sales, marketing and innovation, Sean has performed senior roles with JR Simplot, SC Johnson and George Weston Foods.
He was Director of Consumer Sales, Australia at SC Johnson and later Marketing Director at the Don KRC division of George Weston Foods.
From 2010 to 2017, Sean was the Managing Director Australia, NZ & Indonesia for Tata Global Beverages.
Tony Di Paolo
Chief Procurement Officer
Tony Di Paolo joined Costa in November 2012, bringing more than 20 years of experience in senior procurement, commercial and major capital projects to the group.
In his role as Chief Procurement Officer, Tony is responsible for all areas of procurement, capital projects and property.
Prior to joining Costa, Tony spent 17 years with Visy Industries. In his role as Chief Procurement Officer, he had overall responsibility for the Visy group's multi-billion dollar procurement budget, major capital projects and property portfolio.
He has extensive experience in leading teams, change management, innovation and strategy development as well as all aspects of the procurement function.
General Manager, Berry Category International
Peter McPherson has been General Manager of the Costa Berry Category (formerly known as Berry Exchange and Blueberry Farms of Australia - BFA) since 1986. His vast experience managing large-scale horticultural operations has played a key role in the steady growth and success of Costa's berry operations.
In July 2016 he was elevated to the position of General Manager – Berry International. Peter has been instrumental in the successful expansion of the berry business internationally, including our blueberry operations in Morocco, the establishment of our China operations, and the expansion of our blueberry genetics licensing around the globe.
Complementing his commitment to Costa’s berry business is Peter’s passion for product and industry improvement. Peter sits on many company and industry boards. For many years he has held the role of Treasurer for both the Australian Blueberry Growers Association (ABGA) and the International Blueberry Organization (IBO), and in September 2016, he was honoured to be elected President of the IBO.
General Manager, Berry Category
Stuart Costa has been with Costa Group since 1991 and has held a number of general management positions during this time. His current role focuses on leading and supporting the company's Berry Category, which has growing operations across four states of Australia.
With a deep understanding of the fresh produce industry, combined with strong commercial acumen, he also takes a keen interest in Costa people and is very active in staff development and mentoring.
Stuart served as General Manager of the Costa Tomato Category from December 2015 until September 2018. He also previously served as General Manager of FreshExchange and General Manager of Costa Farms and Logistics.
General Manager, Grape and Citrus Category
Elliot joined Costa in 2001. Over the last 12 years Elliot has managed leading customer accounts across both domestic and export channels and then the General Manager role in the Costa Grape Category. In June 2012 Elliot was appointed General Manager responsible for the Grape and Citrus categories.
He has a Bachelor of Business degree and Graduate Certificate in Food Business Management.
General Manager, Mushroom Category
Jose was appointed General Manager - Costa Mushroom Category in January 2019.
Jose joined Costa in 2012 commencing in the role of Commercial Manager, Costa Farms and Logistics. He then oversaw the integration of the Adelaide Mushrooms acquisition into the Costa business, before taking on the role of Victorian and Tasmanian State Mushroom Category Manager.
Prior to joining Costa, Jose worked for Visy in their specialty product business as a factory and business manager. He has also been a consultant to the packaging industry on sales strategy, business and product development.
Jose has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in Accounting.
General Manager, Avocado and Banana Category
Shanon joined Costa in 2011 in the Logistics business as a qualified accountant transitioning through the business before being appointed as General Manager of Costa Farms and Logistics in December 2015. Shanon has a solid background in banking with experience both in investment banking and retail banking. He also has numerous years’ experience in Agriculture with commercial exposure to grain trading, agricultural rural services and livestock trading.
Shanon's internal passion is around developing and providing staff exposure to the broader business. He enjoys encouraging others to work outside of their developed skill sets, really to challenge themselves to reach new heights and goals.
General Manager, Tomato Category
Michael Engeman started with Costa in 2011 and has worked in both the Banana and Tomato business units. In August 2018, Michael was appointed General Manger of the Tomato Category having previously held the role of National Sales and Marketing Manager.
Michael has a deep understanding of the fresh produce industry, and is a recipient of the Frank Costa Award for outstanding contribution to the Costa company.
He has a Bachelor of Business from QUT majoring in Human Resource Management & Marketing. He also takes a keen interest in Costa people and is very active in staff development and mentoring.
General Manager, Costa Farms & Logistics
Damian Bourne joined Costa in September 2017 after spending more than 7 years at PFD Foods as Group Executive, General Manager.
Damian has extensive experience in the Food and Logistics industries having also served as Manager Strategy and Product Development at Spotless Limited and as General Manager of Operations and Business Development at CEVA Logistics Pty Ltd.
Damian has a Master of Business Administration from Monash University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University.
General Counsel and Company Secretary
David joined Costa as General Counsel in July 2012, bringing 19 years of legal experience, and was appointed as Company Secretary in October 2012.
Prior to joining Costa, David was a partner at Middletons (now K&L Gates) practising in commercial law and mergers and acquisitions.
General Manager - HR
Carl Phillips joined Costa in June 2014 in the position of Group Manager, Human Resources. In November 2016 he took on the role of Group Manager Human Resources and Business Services. Carl is responsible for leading the organisation’s HR function and business services, including OHS, quality control and environment.
With and extensive background and experience in both human resources and industrial relations, Carl has held senior roles with the Australian Workers Union, Alcoa, Skilled Group and Coles Myer.
General Manager - Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions
Matthew Prent joined Costa in mid-2017 after spending more than 8 years at Woodside Energy.
Matthew has considerable Commercial and M&A experience in the Energy and Financial Services industries. During his time at Woodside, Matt gained extensive domestic and international Commercial, Business Development and M&A experience in an ASX top 20 listed environment.
Matthew has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law from Monash University.
Group Manager - Corporate Affairs
Michael has an extensive background in both the public and private sector, having worked at the highest levels of the federal government across a number of portfolios, including workplace relations, aged care and immigration.
He has worked in the civil construction, manufacturing and horticultural industries performing specialist roles covering human resources, industrial relations, finance, administration and corporate affairs.
Michael’s role as Costa Group Corporate Affairs Manager includes responsibility for investor, government and community relations.
Michael has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Monash University.