The power to shape NZ net

Helping shape the internet in New Zealand is the promise of the portal manager vacancy for XtraMSN, the combined effort of Microsoft's MSN and Telecom's Xtra.

Title: Portal manager, XtraMSN, based in Auckland

Function: Running the XtraMSN portal, dealing with its management and maintenance

Description: Managing 30 people directly and handling a team of 200, a budget “in the millions” and many technologies

Dosh: $100,000 to $150,000

Helping shape the internet in New Zealand is the promise of the portal manager vacancy for XtraMSN, the combined effort of Microsoft’s MSN and Telecom’s Xtra.

“It’s is effectively running the XtraMSN portal,” says Xtra general manager Rod Snodgrass.

The website will include news, sports, games and chat, and be “at the forefront” of convergence between TV, the web and other media.

Snodgrass says the successful candidate will “almost” be general manager of the portal, answerable only to himself. The position is based at Xtra’s Auckland offices.

The person will need to show flexibility, leadership and energy. Roles include content management, media sales, marketing, strategy, business development, product development, information technology and, above all else, the job will demand commercial acumen. It involves managing 30 people directly but dealing overall with a team of 200. Running the portal as a separate business entity involves a budget “in the millions” and technologies used will cover “everything”, says Snodgrass.

“We need someone who understands the media industry: someone with good commercial skills and business acumen. They may have run a business. They will have very high energy. The winning candidate will be a person who needs to understand what convergence is about, the opportunities it provides the internet space. To me, this is probably the best portal job in New Zealand.”

Tertiary qualifications are “most probably” necessary in the IT or commerce areas, possibly including an MBA, as XtraMSN seeks a “ strategic thinker”. Snodgrass says the successful candidate has had a successful career running a media business, working in TV, newspapers or radio and has probably got “an exceptional track record.”

XtraMSN accepts it will be a struggle to find the right candidate in New Zealand and realises it may have to search in Australia, though it would rather not, as the site will involve Kiwi content. “It’s a big job,” says Snodgrass, “the next job is mine, the head of Xtra. The job also offers opportunities back in TV, etc.”

XtraMSN offers a “very competitive” $100,000 to $150,000 for the job.

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