Mark Ratcliffe says he has achieved more than he dreamed was possible as chief executive of Chorus and that he is leaving the telecommunications network owner in very good shape.
Ratcliffe, who stepped down from Chorus today after almost a decade at its helm, said he felt it was time to move on.
"You hear other people talk about, 'Why did you move on when you've got the best job you've ever had?' I think there's two New Zealanders who've moved on from that situation relatively recently. You just know it's time to go. You've done what you needed to do, you feel like you're getting out on top of your game which is a great way to be," he said. "I think too many people perhaps hang on a little bit too long."
Asked if he was referring to John Key and Richie McCaw in these comments, Ratcliffe laughed and said he didn't put himself at that level.
"[I've got] no plans for flying helicopters or running Coast to Coast," he said.
Ratcliffe said Chorus was on a "great track" with the ultra-fast broadband initiative and ahead of the targets originally set.
The company split from Telecom (now Spark) in 2011 to take part in the UFB scheme and roll out fibre internet lines around parts of the country.
Asked if issues with connecting customers to the network had been resolved, Ratcliffe said the company was working on 600 jobs a day.
"We get a few wrong and that's not good enough but we're striving to improve the quality of the experience for customers on that but I think that's still work in progress," he said.
"You have to leave a few things for your successor to do."
That successor, former Telstra executive Kate McKenzie, had a "stellar" reputation, he said.
Ratcliffe last year announced his departure from Chorus and McKenzie took over today as chief executive.
Chorus this morning reported a doubling of net profit to $66 million and a 22 per cent gain in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $335m on revenue of $529m for the six months to December 31.
That was ahead of expectations, however Chorus changed the way it recognises some spending, and will capitalise about $23m of labour and IT costs in the 2017 year which it previously would have accounted as an expense.
Combined with about $15m of new competitive initiatives this led to an increase in guidance for ebitda to be between $645m and $665m, having previously been seen at between $625m and $645m.
Chief financial officer Andy Carroll said the guidance did not alter dividend guidance, which was still expected to be 21c per share for the year, with an 8.5c interim payment announced today.
The company's share price fell 1.93 per cent to $4.07 today.
Additional reporting: BusinessDesk