Critic of NZ broadband appointed to Telecom board

Longtome telecomms entrepreneur and professor to take seat

Former Kyocera managing director and longtime Japanese telecomms entrepreneur Dr Sachio Semmoto has been appointed to Telecom’s board.

In a statement on the NZX website, Telecom chairman Wayne Boyd is quoted as saying: “With a long career as an entrepreneur and leader in telecommunications, Dr Semmoto is eminently well qualified to contribute to Telecom’s board at a time of profound change for our company and the industry”.

In addition to a long career in telecommunications, which has included senior roles at NTT and Kyocera, and being involved in the launch of Japanese telecomms firms KDDI, eAceesss and EMOBILE, he has held several university positions, including a current post as adjunct professor at Canterbury University.

Semmoto resides in Japan and owns a house in Christchurch.

He was also on the board of NetApp (then Network Appliance) from 1999 to 2005.

In the NZX statement, Boyd says “Dr Semmoto is a recognised global advocate for the importance of broadband as a driver of economic development and innovation.

“With Telecom now rolling out a nationwide investment programme bringing faster broadband to New Zealanders, Dr Semmoto is ideally placed to bring these perspectives to our board.

“Indeed, he has long been a passionate contributor to the broadband debate here in New Zealand.”

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald last year, Semmoto revealed that he told former PM Helen Clark in 2005 that New Zealand’s broadband service was “pitiful”.

He also expressed reservations about New Zealand’s broadband situation at a Tuanz conference last year.

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