Garry Collings, group general manager IT at Toll NZ and CIO of the Year at the 2004 Computerworld Excellence Awards, has departed suddenly from the company.
Austen Perrin, chief financial officer at Toll NZ, is reluctant to discuss the matter, saying, “It’s none of your [Computerworld’s] business. There’s not really much to say — it’s personal between Garry and the company.”
An internal email was sent by Perrin to Toll NZ staff last week. “Due to a review of the IT services within the Toll Group and a need for greater alignment between Australia and New Zealand, Garry has decided to investigate other opportunities,” it said.
Perrin’s email thanked Collings for “his contribution to the company”. It was sent at 3:41pm on January 24; Collings departed Toll the same afternoon.
“There is nothing sinister about it," says Perrin. "It’s a simple alignment of IT, services and strategy between Australia and New Zealand. As a result of that, Garry came to an agreement with the company and we’ve parted company.”
Collings was group general manager for IT at Toll NZ for more than four years. “As a result of an Australian-directed restructuring of the Toll NZ IT operations and after discussion with Toll management I opted to resign from the company,” he says.
In addition to winning CIO of the Year at the 2004 Computerworld Excellence Awards, Collings was the driving force behind the Toll Tranz Link project that won the Overall Excellence in the Use of IT category at the 2004 awards. Prior to joining Toll, Collings was CIO at MainFreight for four-and-a-half years.
Toll Holdings, the company that bought TranzRail in 2003, recorded an after-tax profit of A$168 million (NZ$181 million) on revenue of A$3.27 billion (NZ$3.54 billion) for the year ending June 2004. The New Zealand business contributed A$41.6 million (NZ$45 million) in earnings from A$415 million (NZ$449 million) in revenue in its first eight months with the company.
However, despite its successes, the company is not without controversy. TranzRail directors have been the subject of a Securities Commission investigation and face court proceedings over insider trading allegations that predate Toll Holdings' purchase of the company. Any successful prosecution could see penalties of up to $250 million being handed down to those involved — David Richwhite, Michael Fay and their investment company Midavia Rail Investments as well as Boston-based Berkshire Fund and Berkshire Fund partner Carl Ferenbach.