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Telecom cuts office costs as it relocates staff

By Ray Lilley

Friday 22nd September 2000

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Telecom is moving more senior management grunt to Auckland and has reshaped its nationwide sales and services managers into an Auckland-run unit as it erases a bit more of its Wellington-based image.

Its 2600 nationwide sales and services staff are to be managed from Auckland, recognition that its major commercial base is in the city and its main rivals are strong in the market.

All the "key people looking after primary customers" were now based in Auckland, company spokeswoman Linda Sanders said.

From just one senior sales and services manager based in Auckland at the start of the year, it now has five, including Kevin Stratful, sales and services group general manager.

Mr Stratful wants half Telecom's senior management based in the Auckland market, where most business customers are and where more companies are trading transtasman.

Three of chief executive Theresa Gattung's senior team reporting directly to her already located in the city are Mr Stratful, chief executive of esolutions Jane Freeman and Xtra general manager Graham Mitchell.

Another direct reportee, Telecom Australia general manager Karyn Devonshire, is Sydney-based.

Ms Sanders said the moves didn't mean big changes of departments from Wellington to Auckland.

"We're not moving large numbers to Auckland, but the grunt at the senior management level is much more based in Auckland," Ms Sanders said.

The major change was the establishment of general manager marketing Kevin Kenrick in Auckland and the control of all marketing nationwide.

This did not include marketing for internet service provider Xtra or Telecom Mobile.

The other senior sales and services managers in Auckland are general manager customer services Kelly Moore, head of e-business Michelle van Gaalen and Auckland regional sales manager Mark O'Donnell.

Mr Stratful has also reshaped sales and services into five sectors: banking and finance, transport and building, national and local government, health and education, and retail.

Telecom has 2800 of its 5000 staff based in Auckland where a revamped Hereford St premises is about to become the company's main office centre.

To house 1300 people in its 11 floors and large plaza, the Hereford building's full refit is part of a major reduction of Telecom's office space in both Auckland and Wellington.

The company was cutting 19% from its annual real estate operating costs by reducing its office accommodation leases, Ms Sanders said.

In Wellington, 9000sq m of spare office space is to be relinquished.

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