Telecom names head for new wholesale division

By Jenny Keown

Telecom has appointed Matt Crockett to lead its wholesale business from next week ahead of the company's division into wholesale and retail units.

Crockett, who was general manager of Telecom's fixed-line business, takes up his new position on July 4, replacing Tim Lusk, who is retiring.

Crockett's mandate was to develop the wholesale network as the company underwent separation of its wholesale and retail networks, said Telecom spokesman John Goulter.

"He will be taking a vital role in the working groups and moving the wholesale division forward, where a huge amount of activity is expected soon."

This week Telecom said it would voluntarily undergo operational separation - the splitting of its fixed-line business into a wholesale operation serving its rivals and a retail operation serving the public.

Telecom said it would provide services to its competitors on the same terms as it provided them to its retail operation. The company has invited its competitors to take part in "working groups" to help to facilitate the change.

Mark Ratcliffe will remain Telecom's head of networks, and Crockett's boss.

Crockett has maintained a low-public profile for much of his tenure and has gradually gained a public profile as head of Telecom's fixed division over the past few months.

But his appointment has been met with a mixed reaction from Telecom's competitors.

Slingshot founder Annette Presley said it is another example that Telecom is doing the bare minimum to try to convince the public that positive change is happening in the company.

"He has worked in Telecom for three years and reports to Mark Ratcliffe, who reports to Theresa Gattung," she said. "There has been no change in responsibilities or direction, it is just the same bunch of people working through policy. It's hard for anyone in the industry to get excited about this."

The head of ihug, David Diprose, said he would look forward to working with Crockett in the working groups, but he doubted Crockett's ability to make positive change for competitors in the wholesale sector while Telecom's structure remained the same.

The wholesale division should oversee networks so that it would be able to have the power to open up network access for its customers.


MATT CROCKETT

* Born in Australia, January 1970

* Married with three children

* 1992-94 Engineer at Mt Isa mines

* 1994-96 Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University

* 1997-2003 Associate principal, global consulting firm McKinsey and Company

* 2003-2006 Head of Telecom's fixed-line network, Wired

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