When Steve Lowe departed Alcatel- Lucent as chief executive in February 2010, commentators were quick to draw the conclusion that his resignation was related to the fall-out over the major issues Telecom was experiencing with the XT network. Alcatel-Lucent is Telecom’s longtime network partner.
The multinational gave no reason at the time for Lowe’s apparently abrupt departure.
It was in no way related to the XT issues, says Lowe, who has recently taken the role of chief executive at a small IT business, Splice Group, based in the Porirua basin north of Wellington.
“I had resigned previously. In fact, they asked me to stay on but I wanted to do something different.”
On his LinkedIn site, Lowe describes himself as a philanthropist in addition to his technical and business qualifications.
“I wanted to expand my philanthropic activities,” he says. So for the past two years he’s been doing just that, continuing a seven-year involvement with a private charity project in India. He’s also been doing consulting work, in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, China and Chile.
It’s quite a change to come from managing a company the size of Alcatel-Lucent, with 700 staff, to a 10-person company, which specialises mainly in smart geospatial work and geographical information systems.
“I came across the opportunity a couple of months ago,” Lowe says. “I live in the Porirua area and I was attracted to their growth curve.”
He says he brings both technical and business expertise to the business.
Splice Group was formed two years ago. Clients include the three Wairarapa district councils, the New Zealand Transport Agency and building research organisation BRANZ.
Director Andre Post, a former GIS manager at the Nelson City Council, says the company has spent a lot of research and development on a device-independent viewer for geospatial on mobile devices. The company is looking to export the viewer.
“We’ve got strategic plans around Australia but we haven’t pressed the button just yet,” says Lowe.