Spark New Zealand managing director Simon Moutter has surprised the industry by announcing his intention to resign on 30 June. He will be replaced by Jolie Hodson, currently customer director.
Spark’s chair Justine Smyth said when Moutter became managing director in August 2012, he had done so in the expectation of a likely five- to seven-year tenure.
“Accordingly, the board has been mindful of succession planning from within the business by giving potential internal candidates opportunities over time to demonstrate they have the right leadership capabilities,” she said.
Moutter said he had become Spark’s managing director in 2012 with the expectation that he would drive a major turnaround of the company post the 2011 demerger of Chorus and several years of declining performance.
“I’ve given my absolute best to putting Spark onto a positive track over the last seven years, so the company can fully deliver on its purpose to ‘help all of New Zealand win big in a digital world. I feel it’s the right time to pass the leadership baton on.” He said he had made no decisions on his future.
Smyth said Moutter had played a pivotal role in the transformation of Spark over the past seven years.
“In almost every respect, Spark today is a vastly different company to the one that Simon re-joined in 2012. We are New Zealand’s leader in wireless communications, with a rejuvenated mobile business across both Spark and Skinny brands, a promising Internet of Things (IoT) business and a determination to be at the forefront of 5G.”
“We have made exciting plays in entertainment and sports media, we have invested in a modern, world-class technology stack and we are generating interest in our adoption of an Agile way of working from companies around the globe.”
Smyth described Hodson as “an accomplished leader with a strong record of delivering results and managing complex business units,” adding: “To be able to appoint an executive of Jolie’s calibre and experience is a testament to the quality of the talent within the company.”
Hodson joined Spark in 2013 and has worked across most major parts of Spark’s business. Previously she was CEO of the former Spark Digital unit and chief financial officer.