The 37 year-old Theresa Gattung has been named as successor to Telecom CEO Rod Deane.
Gattung will take up the job on October 1, the day after Deane retires - and himself replaces Peter Shirtcliffe as the chairman of the Telecom board of directors. Shirtcliffe will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
Although Telecom has searched and interviewed internationally for a new CEO since Deane announced his retirement earlier this year, Gattung was, along with financial controller Jeff White, always regarded as a strong internal candidate.
She has been with Telecom five years and is currently group general manager of Telecom Services, which since last year has been responsible for most of Telecom's Internet efforts, including Xtra.
This year she decreed the split of Telecom's Internet business into a consumer company which has kept the Xtra name, and a new Business Solutions group.
Shirtcliffe described her yesterday as "a leader of exceptional talent".
"Theresa has been the driving force in growing revenues for Telecom in a highly competitive marketplace, introducing exciting new products and services, and in leading the competitive positioning of the company including in the online areas while, at the same time, exercising firm control over both costs and capital expenditure," Shirtcliffe said.
"Theresa has an unusually strong background in a series of major companies within New Zealand with a very considerable breadth of interests.
"In her present position she oversees around 90% of Telecom's total $3.4 billion revenue, around $700 million in expenditure and has about 4,000 people within her group, equivalent to approximately half the company's total staff."
Before becoming group general Mmanager of services in April 1996, Gattung was general manager of marketing for Telecom, and prior to that chief manager marketing for the Bank of New Zealand following a period in a similar position with National Mutual. She has a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours from the University of Waikato, majoring in Economics and Marketing. She also has a law degree from Victoria University of Wellington.