Monday 9th June 2014
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Kevin Roberts, chief executive worldwide of Saatchi and Saatchi, has retired from the Telecom board to be replaced by Yoobi co-founder Ido Leffler.
Roberts sat on the board for close to six years, during a period of change for New Zealand's largest telecommunications provider which saw it spin off its network business, Chorus into a separately listed entity to build the country's ultra fast broadband service in 2011. The company is now in the process of changing its name to Spark as it focuses on communications, entertainment and information technology services, including the launch of a new internet TV business.
"Telecom is now a retail service provider, competing in the real world of free choice," said Roberts in the statement announcing his departure. The English businessman arrived in Auckland in 1989 to take up the job of chief operating officer at Lion Nathan before joining global advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi in 1997. Last year was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community.
Australian-born Leffer is the co-founder of San Francisco-based natural skincare products Yes To and Yoobi, a school supplies company. He also sits on the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneur Council.
In accordance with Telecom's constitution Leffler will retire and offer himself for shareholder election at the company's annual meeting in November.
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