Consolidation on cards at Xtra

Telecom's decision to appoint its information services manager, Bob Smith, general manager of Xtra may be a signal that it's about to enter into a period of consolidation with the Internet provider.

Telecom’s decision to appoint its information services manager, Bob Smith, general manager of Xtra may be a signal that it’s about to enter into a period of consolidation with the Internet provider.

Under former general manager Chris Tyler, Xtra’s strategy was to add as many customers as possible, to the detriment of customer support.

Smith is moving from a management policy direction to a hands-on role. Given his eight years with information services, it may be that he’ll tighten up on Xtra’s directions, getting it back to a solid business base and taking it into a period of consolidation rather than unbridled growth.

The move may also be a recognition by Telecom of the increasing role the Internet will play versus the traditional telco functions. It may mean, for example, tighter integration between Xtra and content provider First Media.

Smith’s former deputy, John Allen, becomes acting IS general manager.

It’s rumoured at Telecom that David Bedford, group general manager enterprises, to whom Tyler reported, is about to get additional areas of responsibility while finance director Geoff White manages the cost-cutting exercise Telecom embarked upon after its most recent, lower-than-expected profit announcement.

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