New chief executive Simon Moutter. Photo by Olivia
Change is inevitable for Telecom as it continues to face
intense competition in every market in which it operates, new
chief executive Simon Moutter says.
Mr Moutter returned to Telecom after five years away, which
included a stint as chief executive of Auckland International
"From time to time, people have asked me why I came back to
Well, that's an easy question to answer. I am a passionate
New Zealander and I believe Telecom is one of New Zealand's
most important companies."
However, he was never motivated to return to Telecom to
manage a slow decline through simply cutting costs, Mr
Moutter said in his address to the company's annual meeting
Cost control would be a part of what the company did but he
wanted and expected Telecom to win in key markets and be
innovative enough to also deliver growth through the revenue
"I am now early on the path of reshaping Telecom to thrive in
this new environment where we are truly free to compete
without the encumbrance of invasive regulation. To that end,
my first weeks have been all about listening and learning.
"In my mind, it's important that I come back to the company
with no preconceptions and take the time to understand
exactly how Telecom works, after such extensive change."
While many of his initial observations were positive, it was
also clear there was still much work to do, Mr Moutter said.
Telecom was at the start of a long process of reshaping
itself as it adapted to its fundamentally new operating
environment and moved to simplify the technology stack after
Mr Moutter said he was a firm believer in the power of a
single, clear plan that everyone understood. Once the
necessary information had been gathered, a new strategy plan
would be delivered - one he believed would put Telecom back
on the path to growth.
The new plan was expected early next year.
"As I said at the start, Telecom is incredibly important for
Yet, over the years, it feels like Telecom has lost its
emotional connection with many New Zealanders.
We have an enormous opportunity ahead of us to completely
reshape this company and re-forge our deep links with the
people of this country," he said.