Phillip Mills (born February 13, 1955 in Auckland) is a former track and field athlete born in New Zealand. He is the founder and CEO of Les Mills International and one of the founders of Pure Advantage, a green business advocacy group.
Phillip Mills was born into an athletic family. His father Les, his mother Colleen and his sister Donna all represented New Zealand at the Olympic and / or Commonwealth Games in athletics. Mills competed in the 110m hurdles at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and the 110m and 400m hurdles at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta. He studied athletics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated in philosophy in 1978.
Back in New Zealand in 1979, Mills became an increasingly important part of the Les Mills fitness club founded by her parents, Les and Colleen Mills in 1968. Les Mills went public in 1984 and was taken over by an investment company in 1987. After the stock market crash that year, Mills bought the company. Phillip Mills continues to operate Les Mills business in New Zealand. As of May 2015, there were 11 Les Mills fitness centers in New Zealand and a total of 50,000 Les Mills members. In the early 1980s Phillip Mills developed a music-based exercise system based on instructor training, exercise choreography and music. Mills International uses this system to create and distribute a variety of fitness programs internationally. As of March 2015, there are 18 different programs in 100 countries. Phillip Mills has also developed a fitness management system to maximize the business benefits of Les Mills programs. Phillip Mills’ opinions on fitness industry trends and the secrets of the most popular fitness facilities are regularly shared in the fitness industry. In 2004, Mills was named Entrepreneur of the Year in New Zealand by Ernst & Young. He was a judge at Ernst & Young 2006 World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monte Carlo. In 2009, he won the Kea New Zealand World Class New Zealand Award for New Thought. In 2011, he was awarded an Australian Fitness Network Lifetime Achievement Award. In recent years, Phillip Mills has been named to the Rich National Review (NBR) list in 2011.
Mills is an advocate for “green” businesses. His belief in the importance of sustainability has been widely disseminated in New Zealand and he has written extensively on the financial benefits of a clean and green economy, as well as the need for New Zealand to act on climate change. He is the founder of Pure Advantage, a group of New Zealand business leaders advocating for a green economic policy. The Pure Advantage Trust recently commissioned a group of leading economists to examine green growth opportunities in New Zealand.
In 2007, Mills and his wife, Dr. Jackie Mills MD, published Fighting Globesity – A Practical Guide to Personal Health and Global Sustainability (Random House).