Telecom New Zealand’s CEO Theresa Gattung has announced she is to step down after seven years running the country’s largest telco. The company has struggled since the government announced major changes to the regulatory environment which will enable alternative operators to gain a bigger foothold in the fixed line market. The firm is also undergoing a reorganisation to split it into three operational units which the government hopes will be another boost to competition. Gattung herself has been criticised for failing to prepare the telco for stricter regulations and greater competition. Telecom says it will look for CEO candidates from both within the company and externally.
Meanwhile, Telecom has reported a NZD228 million (USD158 million) net profit for the three months to the end of December, reversing a loss of NZD665 million in the year-ago period when it wrote down the value of its Australian operations. Operating revenues for the quarter rose 1.8% to NZD1.45 billion. The telco saw the number of fixed lines in service fall during 2006 from 1.716 million to 1.707 million, but retail broadband subscriptions increased from 265,000 to 395,000. Telecom’s mobile unit had 1.87 million subscribers at the end of December, up from 1.81 million twelve months earlier, although the company did write off 199,000 inactive pre-paid accounts during the year.