Dr Death stands down

Wayne Boyd to usher in brave new era at Telecom

The successor to long-standing chairman Rod Deane has been anointed by the Telecom board. As was widely expected, he is Wayne Boyd, current chairman of the board at Auckland International Airport.

Boyd has been a director of Telecom since July 2004 and is also the chairman of Meridian Energy and Freightways, and holds directorships in a number of other companies. This plethora of other commitments has led to questions as to Boyd’s suitability for the time-consuming role of Telecom chairman, especially at this critical time in the company’s existence. Boyd says he intends to weigh up his other commitments to ensure he has enough time to spend on Telecom affairs however.

A law practitioner of 18 years, Boyd worked as a merchant banker prior to establishing himself as a business adviser and professional company director. Apart from Telecom New Zealand, his directorships have all been with non-telecommunications companies.

In his first statement after accepting the role, Boyd promised to listen to New Zealanders about what their needs are and address them. His focus will be on performance, stewardship and leadership, he says, without going into detail as to what he intends to do in these areas.

Boyd’s appointment follows the resignation of Deane, who threw in the towel after the government delivered Telecom a regulatory knock-out, following years of sparring over commercial and policy objectives between the two.

Boyd says Telecom will now be talking and working with the government. However, he warns that his job is to ensure Telecom will be able to compete energetically in the era of new telecommunications regulation.

Deane was appointed chairman of the board in 1999. Prior to that he was chief executive of the company almost from the day it was privatised by the then government. He will retire from the board as well as the chair’s role, at the end of June.

Also stepping down is long-serving board member, Paul Baines. He, too, will retire effective from 30 June, 2006.

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