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Sam Knowles quits as head of Kiwibank

Wednesday 26th May 2010

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Kiwibank chief executive Sam Knowles has announced he will be resigning after 10 years involvement in setting up and then leading the company. No

date has been set for his departure, but Knowles has said he is prepared to stay until a replacement has been found.

Kiwibank chairman Jim Bolger said Knowles had literally changed the face of the New Zealand banking industry for ever.

“Sam’s resignation is a huge loss for Kiwibank, but he has set up a strong, robust company that will continue to go from strength to strength. Sam’s impact on the New Zealand banking industry has been immense.

“Sam worked through the proposal to establish a New Zealand-owned bank and then took up the position of chief executive and successfully launched Kiwibank in 2002. Since then the bank has become a major banking competitor attracting 700,000 customers and winning numerous awards for value, innovation and brand values.”

Knowles said he has had a memorable tenure as chief executive, but he would now like to take a break and consider what the future holds. He is a director or trustee of a number of organisations including Trust Power, Te Omanga Hospice and the St James Theatre Trust. 

“The outstanding success of Kiwibank is a tribute to a huge number of people. A small dedicated team created the original business case for the bank to operate through the New Zealand Post network and the plans snowballed to what we have today – a very successful bank that is a credit to all involved.”

“I have been inspired over the years by the passion, commitment and enthusiasm of the staff of the bank. And of course there has been fierce loyalty by our customers who have clearly shared the dream of a New Zealand-owned bank for New Zealanders.”

“I’m sad to leave, but excited about my own personal future and of course for the future of Kiwibank. I’ve been involved in the Kiwibank project for 10 years and believe that now is the right time to look for new challenges.”

Chief Executive of New Zealand Post (the owner of Kiwibank), Brian Roche, said a search both internally and externally will begin immediately for a replacement for Mr Knowles.

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