Reseller News

Spark bombshell: Simon Moutter resigns

To be replaced as CEO by Jolie Hodson
Simon Moutter (Spark)

Simon Moutter (Spark)

Spark CEO Simon Moutter has resigned as managing director and director of the company, effective 30 June.

Spark’s chair Justine Smyth said the board of directors have appointed Jolie Hodson, currently customer director at Spark, as the company's new chief executive with effect from 1 July.

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.

Moutter said he had become Spark’s managing director in 2012 with the expectation that he would drive a major turnaround of the company after its 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’," he said.

"I feel it’s the right time to pass the leadership baton on and I am delighted the board has chosen an outstanding leader in Jolie to succeed me. I haven’t made any decisions about what I’ll do after I finish at Spark, other than committing the first couple of months to spending some quality time with my family."

Smyth said the board was focused on achieving a smooth and professional succession arrangement, and are "delighted" that Hodson has been appointed as Moutter's successor.

Justine Smyth and Jolie Hodson (Spark)Credit: Spark NZ
Justine Smyth and Jolie Hodson (Spark)

"As board directors, we have had the opportunity to work closely with Jolie over recent years on a range of important company matters and we have been consistently impressed with her business acumen, her strategic vision and her quality decision making," Smyth said.

"We are delighted to have confirmed a top-quality internal candidate, which speaks to Spark’s desire where appropriate to develop and promote talent from within."

Smyth paid recognition to Moutter’s "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," she added. "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."

Work in diversity and inclusion in the workplace and financial performance ranks among the industry’s best in this part of the world, she said.

Hodson joined Spark in 2013 and brings a broad range of experience gained through a number of senior positions at the company, having spearheaded major programmes related to business transformation, while driving growth strategies in cloud and IT services.

Hodson's most recent role has been customer director, with responsibilities across Spark’s consumer and retail operations, large corporate and government customers, and cloud services businesses.