Vodafone New Zealand appointed Jason Paris as its new CEO to replace Russell Stanners, who is leaving after 13 years in the top job. The State Services Commission launched a 'manny-go-round' of five CEOs in the public service. Ralph Norris stepped down from another chairmanship (Contact) and Virgin Australia's John Borghetti pulled the pin in the wake of his long battle with Air New Zealand's Christopher Luxon.
Former Spark, TVNZ, Mediaworks and Vodafone Group executive Jason Paris was appointed Vodafone NZ CEO, effective November 1. He will replace Russell Stanners, who is leaving after 13 years as CEO and 16 years with the company. Stanners said he did not plan to go for the job of Sky TV CEO, which is being vacated by the long-serving John Fellet. Paris is currently Vodafone’s Director for Convergence Acceleration for Vodafone Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific region. Earlier this year, Paris joined Vodafone Group from Spark, where he was CEO of Home, Mobile & Business. Jason’s new appointment will be effective from 1 November 2018.
TIght five on the move
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes announced a raft of senior appointments in New Zealand's public service all at once, with five CEOs bouncing into other ministries.
They include surprise moves by Corrections CEO Ray Smith to head the troubled Ministry for Primary Industries ( MPI ) from November 1, and a move by Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( MFAT ) CEO Brook Barrington to the plum job of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet ( DPMC ) from February 1 next year. They are replacing CEOs moving to other roles in the public service, or people who had already announced they were retiring or resigning.
Hughes said he decided to announce the package of five new CEOs "to remove uncertainty and maintain momentum in key roles and portfolios". He said the transfers retained strong leadership and stability.
The three other transfers included Justice CEO Andrew Bridgman moving to become Defence CEO from July 1 2019, DPMC CEO Andrew Kibblewhite becoming Justice CEO from February and Culture and Heritage CEO Paul James becoming Internal Affairs CEO from October 1. The appointments are all for five-year terms. The roles of MFAT CEO, Corrections CEO and Culture and Heritage CEO will now be advertised. The PSA criticised the lack of diversity in the announcements.
Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue described the moves as "musical chairs for the boys basically, but no one missed out on a chair this time."
Colin MacDonald resigned as Department of Internal Affairs CEO and government Chief Digital Officer in the series of changes. The Government has also yet to appoint a Chief Technology Officer.
Elsewhere in the public service, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland University Professor Juliet Gerrard had been appointed to be the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor from July 1. She takes over from Sir Peter Gluckman, who has held the role since it was established in 2008 and is retiring.
Gerrard is currently the Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Biological Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences in Auckland University. See the profile of Gerrard here from Newsroom's Eloise Gibson.
Westpac New Zealand appointed Ian Hankins as its chief financial officer after a global search. He has been with the bank for 16 years and had been acting CFO since December. He replaced Jason Clifton, who has not had a role since then, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti announced this week he would not renew his contract after January 2020. See a lot more behind that story in Nikki Mandow's piece from April 12 on Borghetti's clash with Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon.
Contact Energy chairman Ralph Norris announced he was stepping down from the board of New Zealand's largest electricity retailer after overseeing board changes following the departure of majority owner Origin Energy. He was there for less than three years and his departure follows his departure from both the Fletcher Building and Fonterra boards. Contact director Rob McDonald will take over as chair from September 1 and Contact said it expected to appoint new directors over the coming months to fill the gaps left by the resignation of Norris and the previously announced resignation of Sue Sheldon.
Meanwhile, MinterEllisonRuddWatts announced Andrew Poole had been appointed as its next CEO to succeed Mike Schubert.