Spark New Zealand has announced plans to rejig its senior leadership team saying the move is designed to create “an Agile Spark” that will help it accelerate its digital transformation.
CDEO Simon Moutter said: “In an Agile Spark, we will move away from a traditional hierarchical organisational structure based around large business units. The Agile model involves self-managing teams, each with clear accountabilities, who collaborate quickly and effectively with one another to deliver great products and services for our customers.
“In this model, business leaders act as catalysts, showing direction and setting up the systems for people to do their jobs effectively.”
He said that, to support this mode of operation no executive would be responsible for a particular business unit or support function, and for ‘representing’ that unit at the top table. “Rather it’s about assembling the right mix of skills, talent and experience to collectively make the big calls that will underpin our ongoing success across the company.”
Spark flagged the move to accelerate last month in its H1 result with chair Justine Smyth said that Spark was considering accelerating its business transformation to strengthen the FY19 result and if so the costs might reduce FY18 guidance.
Moutter said the latest announced changes would not impact guidance, but that could change.
“These changes do not alter existing FY18 guidance. However, as noted at last month’s interim results announcement, we are considering accelerating our business transformation to strengthen the FY19 result. No decision has yet been made, but if the programme is accelerated, then FY18 guidance may reduce due to the associated costs of change. We will update the market if appropriate.”
In the language of Agile people work together in multi-disciplined teams of up to 10, known as squads. To that end, Spark says that on 1 July 2018 it will set up a leaderships squad comprising Moutter; Jolie Hodson, CEO Spark Digital who will take on the new role of customer director; David Chalmers, finance director; Joe McCollum, HR director; a yet-to be-recruited marketing director, Claire Barber, chief digital officer, Platforms, who will take on the role of product director; Mark Beder, chief operating officer, Connect, who will become technology director.
On that date current business units — Home Mobile & Business, Digital, Ventures, Platforms, Connect — will cease to exist. Spark said it intends to provide investors with more information on the new operating mode in due course, including any resulting changes to the structure of its external reporting.
Ed Hyde, currently CEO of Spark Ventures, is expected to leave Spark by the end of June 2018. Moutter explained that the unit had only ever been envisaged as transitional.
“When we formed Spark Ventures as a business unit some five years ago, it was to accelerate our rate of innovation within Spark, by creating a focal point for the investment in and incubation of new digital services ventures,” he said. “It was always our desire that this culture of innovation could be ‘mainstreamed’ over time into the wider Spark.”
Grant McBeath, who took over as interim CEO of Spark’s Home, Mobile and Business unit from Jason Paris earlier this year, will continue to lead HMB until July, when he will revert to his previous role guiding Spark’s consumer and SME sales and service channels.
Moutter said these customer-focused units were extremely important to Spark’s future in an increasingly ‘omnichannel’ environment “where our physical and digital channels complement each other to delight our customers with an effortless experience.”