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Current as of 24/10/14 07:40PM NZST

Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Telecom stays quiet on hunt for new chief executive

A new chief executive is to replace Paul Reynolds. Photo / Greg Bowker
A new chief executive is to replace Paul Reynolds. Photo / Greg Bowker

Telecom's board appears to be taking its time to name a chief executive to replace outgoing boss Paul Reynolds.

Although commentators believed the company would make an announcement a fortnight ago, nothing has been released to the market.

Those tipped to be in line for Telecom's top job include Chris Quin, chief executive of the company's information and communication technology branch, Gen-i.

Another possible contender is Kate McKenzie, group managing director of innovation, products and marketing at Australian telco Telstra.

Quin has worked for Telecom since 1991 while McKenzie was director-general of the Department of Commerce in New South Wales before joining Telstra in 2004.

The Herald understands Telecom whittled its hunt down to three candidates in February and a source specialising in CEO searches said decisions typically came within six weeks after a shortlist was made.

"[The search company] would present recommendations to the board and they would then look at them ... and might do some of their own due diligence at that point, but generally it should be pretty well wrapped up by the shortlist stage.

"It should just be a matter of weeks.

"I couldn't imagine it would go on longer than six weeks unless there was a major flaw in the process," the industry source said yesterday.

While internal appointments tended to be easier for a board to make, giving the job to someone overseas tended to bring more complications, he said.

Any longer than six weeks and details of the search tended to leak to the market and the media, the source said.

Although commentators originally tipped Kevin Kenrick to be in the running for the job, the former Telecom staffer and House of Travel boss was named as TVNZ's new chief executive this month.

A Telecom spokesman last night said he could not comment on the chief executive search.

- NZ Herald

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