‘I was bored,’ says $10m man

At age 37, former Telecom international manager Bill Doak probably doesn't need to work. After all, he's involved in several successful businesses and he's on National Business Review's rich list with an estimated worth of $10 million. So it was somewhat surprising when he turned up last month working at IBM. "I was bored," he says.

At age 37, former Telecom international manager Bill Doak probably doesn’t need to work. After all, he’s involved in several successful businesses, including an alternative Cook Strait ferry service and ownership of Paraparaumu airport. He’s also on National Business Review’s rich list with an estimated worth of $10 million.

So it was somewhat surprising when he turned up last month working at IBM. “I was bored,” he says.

Doak got his high-flying start when in the early 1990s Telecom dropped its bid for the job of modernising part of Vietnam’s telephone system — the American owners of Telecom were worried about breaking US law by trading with a country still regarded as the enemy. Doak pressed on and won the bid himself.

He won’t say exactly what his role at IBM is other than “looking at IT consulting with a telco flavour”.

It’s not hard to guess. IBM is head to head with an EDS-Andersen consortium to win a huge contract for outsourcing much of Telecom’s IT.

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