2degrees chairman Stewart Sherriff has taken over as interim CEO, following the tragic loss of Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy in a plane crash on Saturday.
“Sherriff has more than 35 years of telecommunications industry experience and has been involved in 2degrees since Trilogy’s investment prior to the company’s launch,” says a 2degrees media statement issued this afternoon.
Sherriff and Brad Horwitz, CEO of majority shareholder Trilogy International Partners, arrived in Auckland from the US this morning and have met with the company’s board and management team.
“Eric was a veteran in the wireless industry and brought that experience to bear in the New Zealand market. He has built a great team and his passion for excellence and exceeding customer’s expectations have been instilled into the entire organisation. The board has complete confidence that the 2degrees team will continue to drive change and innovation into the New Zealand market,” says Horwitz.
Sherriff says the company has taken comfort from the comments and heartfelt sympathies expressed from around the world about Eric and Kathy Hertz.
Sheriff, who is from Chicago, will be based in New Zealand full time while in the role of interim CEO. A company spokesperson says it is not known how long it will take to find a permanent CEO for 2degrees, which is likely to involve an international recruitment search.
Stewart, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Trilogy International Partners, held a similar position in Western Wireless International (WWI) beginning in 2001 after having served as vice president — operations from 1997.
Stewart served as CEO of Irish mobile third entrant Meteor from 2003-2005 and has worked in mobile businesses in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the US.
Before joining WWI, Stewart was head of operations for SmarTone Mobile Communications (Hong Kong) from 1995 to 1997 and in 1995 served as regional coordinator/BSS specialist for Tretech Solutions, a contractor for AT&T Saudi Arabia.