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Telecom's Reynolds to leave at the end of June

Thursday 10th May 2012

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Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds will leave the phone company at the end of June after overseeing the structural split of its network business last year.

His replacement, former Auckland International Airport boss Simon Moutter, doesn't start until September, so Gen-I head Chris Quin, who put his hand up for the top job, will act as chief executive in the interim, Telecom said in a statement. Quin will act as CEO from June 1, with Reynolds supporting him during that month.

Reynolds "has led the company through two radical revisions of the regulatory environment as well as the successful demerger and creation of Chorus as a completely independent company," chairman Mark Verbiest said.  "Telecom is now subject to significantly less regulation which enables the company to focus on delivering for its customers."

Reynolds replaced Theresa Gattung in 2007 after the company’s relationship with the government broke down, and former Telecommunications Minister David Cunliffe forced operational separation between the network and retail units. Reynolds was brought in after overseeing a similar split at BT in the UK.

Telecom's shares have shed 24 percent since Reynolds took over the reins, during which time he negotiated a truce with the government to free it from a heavy regulatory burden of operating a copper-line network monopoly by carving out the Chorus business.

As part of the deal, Telecom agreed to forgo vertical integration in the telecommunications market and won a $929 million subsidy for Chorus to build a national broadband fibre network.

Since Chorus was spun out, Telecom's shares have jumped 37 percent to $2.65.

The outgoing Telecom boss flagged his exit in August, ending his five-year tenure at the country’s biggest telecommunications company that included structural separation of the Chorus unit into a separately listed entity.

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