Spark elevates strategy and regulatory leader

Spark elevates strategy and regulatory leader

John Wesley-Smith was an architect Spark's $900M passive mobile infrastructure asset sale.

John Wesley-Smith (Spark)

John Wesley-Smith (Spark)

Credit: Supplied

John Wesley-Smith is joining Spark's top-table "squad" as strategy and regulatory director, starting 1 August.

Wesley-Smith joined Spark in 2005 and has led the telco's regulatory team for 14 years, currently as regulatory and industry affairs lead. 

As such, Wesley Smith has "significant knowledge of the sector and the drivers of value within it", Spark told shareholders this morning.

He also played a pivotal role in Spark's major capital investments and transactions, including the recent sale of a majority stake in the company's passive mobile infrastructure assets.

"John has a deep understanding of how technology is evolving, and the global trends that will shape the markets we operate in and is well placed to lead the ongoing evolution of our strategy into the future," said Spark CEO Jolie Hodson.

Spark's $900 million sale of mobile infrastructure to the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan last year differed from similar sales by its rivals in that Spark only sold a 70 per cent share in the assets.

The transaction, which valued the entire business at $1.175 billion, involved 1263 sites nationwide. $350 million of the proceeds were returned to shareholders through an on-market share buyback.

Wesley-Smith was also one of eight members of the government's digital and media expert group advising then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on how the Government could tackle social media issues arising from the Christchurch mosque shootings.

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