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200 staff to depart as Spark adds new executives to top "squad"

200 staff to depart as Spark adds new executives to top "squad"

Spark is putting Agile front and centre in its restructuring and executive appointments

Simon Moutter (Spark)

Simon Moutter (Spark)

Spark is adding a marketing executive and general counsel to its leadership team, now called a "leadership squad" as the company embraces Agile.

The appointments come as the company is laying off 200 staff who were not offered new "Agile" employment contracts.

Matt Bain is joining Spark in November as marketing director while Melissa Anastasiou, Spark’s general counsel, has been promoted to the top table immediately.

Managing director Simon Moutter said the telco giant had set out an ambitious brief for its new marketing director, seeking a New Zealander with high-quality international experience, proven creative talent and expertise in digital and social media marketing.

Bain is currently European managing director for AKQA – an innovation and brand experience agency with over 500 employees in five countries.

"He has built an impeccable international reputation with some of the world’s greatest brands - Nike, Heineken, Mini, Rolls Royce, Siemens, EASports, Audi, Phillips, Tommy Hilfiger and KLM amongst others," Moutter said.

Meanwhile, Anastasiou has been with Spark since 2009 and, as general counsel, has been member of its wider leadership team for some time.

More recently, she has taken on Spark’s culture and diversity and inclusion programmes, as well as involvement in a range of strategic initiatives.

"I feel it is timely to acknowledge her talents by bringing Melissa onto the Leadership Squad,” Moutter said.

Spark said the Agile model moves away from a traditional hierarchical organisational structure based around large business unit to collaborative, self-managing teams, each with clear accountabilities.

In this new structure, business leaders act as catalysts, showing direction and setting up the systems for people to do their jobs effectively.

Approximately 40 per cent of employees who work in core functions such as network, IT, product development and segment marketing are forming into Agile teams from this week, the business said.

"We recognised from the outset that Agile may not suit everyone, so we gave our people working in these areas the option of applying for one of these new Agile roles, seeking redeployment into another part of Spark, or opting for redundancy,” Moutter added.

"As at the end of last week, more than 96 per cent of our people offered Agile roles have accepted them and we are continuing to engage with the few remaining people to resolve any uncertainties they may have."

Last month, Spark presented 1900 staff with new employment contracts offering them five days to accept the new Agile way of working.

A spokesperson said fewer than 200 have will leave the company having not taken up roles in the Agile structure.

"That includes a significant number who, for a range of reasons, decided Agile wasn’t for them and opted out, as well as some people who wanted to work in Agile but were unsuccessful in finding a role," Spark said.

Moutter said Spark had worked "extremely hard" over the past six months to inform staff about Agile, and was "delighted that the overwhelming majority are looking enthusiastically to this new way of working."


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Tags agileTelecommunicationsrestructuringleadership teamSquadspark

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