Advertising and media figure Cindy Mitchener has been named chief executive of eVentures New Zealand, the local wing of the Softbank-Murdoch Internet joint venture.
Mitchener was most recently chief executive of Touchdown Productions - makers of TV shows ranging from 'Tight 5' and 'hanging Rooms' to 'April's Angels' and 'You Be the Judge' - and has also held management positions at Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland, TV3 and TVNZ.
She has little if any Internet industry experience, but says that new position offered her "the ultimate opportunity" to be at the leading edge of new media development.
"This challenge was too good to resist. I would say I'm a fairly seasoned media campaigner in regard to traditional media.
"eVentures gives me the opportunity to extend my reach using the skills I've developed, and importantly, to work with Craig Heatley and the top international companies at the forefront of new media development."
Mitchener was appointed by Heatley, who is executive chairman of eVentures New Zealand and owns 20% of the company, with Softbank and the Murdoch venture epartners holding 40% each.
Heatley says Mitchener has the right mix of skills to drive the new media company forward.
"Cindy has incredible drive and a thorough understanding of marketing and the media. She will be a great asset to eVentures as we introduce New Zealanders to top international Internet brands in 2000," says Heatley.
The company's first international Internet product, e-Loan, is set to be launched in the New Year. e-Loan is an online lending service that brokers mortgage and financing deals. Buy.com, a virtual shopping mall, is being considered.
Mitchener says she will also scope local Internet developments with a view to acquisition.
"International brands are key to the eVentures portfolio, but we will also be looking for local product that enhances our range of services."
Heatley says eVentures will provide investment and incubation services - capital, location and facilities - for both new and established Internet businesses.
Mitchener's first task will be to appoint staff to manage eVentures products and services from its Auckland base.
"Getting the right mix of people together will be paramount. Obviously top IT talent will be important, but we'll also be looking for other complimentary skills," says Mitchener.