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Key departure prompts leadership shake-up at Spark

20-year veteran Chris Quin has parted company with New Zealand's largest telecommunications retailer.
Written by Rob O'Neill, Contributor

20-year Telecom New Zealand and Spark veteran Chris Quin has seen just about everything the business could offer, but has never held the chief executive's title, apart from acting in the role.

Among other highlights, Quin assumed leadership of Telecom New Zealand's XT network crisis, fronting the media and guiding efforts to recover after the shiny new 3G mobile network proved to be far too brittle.

Chris Quin
Quin was an unsuccessful candidate for the chief executive's job when current CEO Simon Moutter was appointed in 2012. He then slotted back into the company as chief executive of the home, mobile, and business division.

But now, he is leaving the company, prompting a shake-up at the top.

"Chris has been with the company for over 20 years, and has achieved all I could have asked of him over the last two years," Moutter said. "By any measure, Chris has done a consistently terrific job in a range of executive roles at Spark New Zealand and Telecom/Gen-i before that."

Quin will clear out his desk at the end of June.

Moutter said it is also time to move to a new phase in Spark's transformation strategy, from stabilisation to pursuing revenue and margin growth.

One important element of that will be integrating Spark's Turnaround Program into the businesses.

"With the Turnaround Program coming to its end, a new Strategic Program -- 'Digital First' -- will be set up over the next few months to centrally architect and steer the ongoing delivery of the digital transformation of our business," Moutter said.

"Our aim will be to create New Zealand's leading digital services platform and suite of digital applications intended to fuel market growth."

In support of that, Jason Paris, general manager of Spark home, mobile, and business, will take over from Quin on July 1.

Rod Snodgrass, CEO of Spark Ventures, will lead the new Digital First program in addition to his existing responsibilities.

Chief financial officer Jolie Hodson will also take on some operational business activities on top of her existing CFO duties. Spark's low-cost Skinny mobile business and its Big Pipe broadband business will move outside of Spark Ventures and report to her from February 1.

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