Telecommunication services company Spark New Zealand Limited (ASX: SPK) announced the resignation of Managing Director Simon Moutter with effect from 30 June 2019. The news sent the stock to decline by 3.867% to last trade at $3.480 on 3 April 2019.
Spark has now come up with its new leader!
Chairman Justine Smyth stated that Jolie Hodson, presently Customer Director at Spark, has been appointed to the role of Spark’s new Chief Executive, effective 1 July 2019.
Joined in 2013, Ms Hodson has held several senior positions at Spark, majorly overseeing the business transformation-related programmes. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of the former Spark Digital unit and has played a key role in driving the company’s growth strategies towards business Cloud and IT services.
Ms Hodson started her career with Deloitte in New Zealand before joining Lion Group and then coming back to Auckland to join Spark. She is a graduate from the University of Auckland and the winner of New Zealand CFO of the Year Deloitte Top 200 Awards of 2016.
Spark is a leading wireless communication services company of New Zealand that focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) business and to achieve its objective to be at the forefront of 5G. The company has invested in modern and ‘world-class’ technology for building safer and more connected communities.
Ms Smyth stated that Mr Moutter became Managing Director in August 2012 and at that very time he made it clear of his plan to serve a likely five to seven years. The company, therefore, had been working for succession planning from long, thereby giving opportunities to potential internal candidates over time to put forward their leadership skills.
The appointment of Mr Moutter in 2012 was driven by an expectation to see a major turnaround of the company under his leadership following the 2011 demerger of Chorus and years of declining performance.
Spark is further seeking to partner with potential media players to grow its entertainment streaming business, Lightbox. It is a renowned local entertainment streaming business in New Zealand with over 355,000 subscribers and has been an essential part of the company’s bundled offer.
The management believes that the success of Lightbox greatly depends upon the injection of funds which requires ongoing investment, particularly in content. The company intends to choose a local or international media partner who can work in collaboration with Spark to leverage its entertainment content with a strong distribution and marketing platform. This would not only enhance the content proposition of Lightbox but would also lay a strong foundation to support the Lightbox’s long-term growth.
SPK stock last traded at a price to earnings multiple of 19.460x with a market capitalisation of $6.65 billion as at 3 April 2019. Over the past 12 months, the stock has witnessed a positive performance change of 15.46% despite a plunge of 7.97% recorded in the last three months.
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