Spark New Zealand has appointed Jolie Hodson, its current customer director, as chief executive effective July 1.
Hodson succeeds Simon Moutter, who resigned today as managing director and director, effective June 30.
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, says Justine Smyth, Spark chairperson.
“The Board are particularly pleased that we’ve been able to achieve a very smooth and professional succession arrangement, and in particular we are delighted that Jolie Hodson has been appointed as Simon’s successor.”
Smyth says Hodson has worked across most major parts of Spark since joining the company in 2013.
Hodson was CEO of the former Spark digital unit and chief financial officer – and was recognised as New Zealand CFO of the Year at the 2016 Deloitte Top 200 Awards.
After graduating from the University of Auckland, Hodson worked for Deloitte, and moved to Australia with the Lion Group in 2000, before coming back to Auckland to join Spark.
From Telecom to Spark
Smyth also recognised the pivotal role of Moutter in transforming Spark over the past seven years.
Moutter was chief operating officer of Telecom when he left to become CEO of Auckland Airport. On his return to Telecom, he made the bold call to rebrand the company, as Spark NZ.
“In almost every respect, Spark today is a vastly different company to the one he rejoined in 2012,” says Smyth.
“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,” she adds.
“We are making important progress with diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and our financial performance ranks among the industry’s best in this part of the world.”
Moutter says he had become Spark’s managing director in 2012 with the expectation that he would drive a major turnaround of the company after 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’,” says Moutter, in a statement.
Moutter says he has not made any decisions on his next role.
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