A three month emergency stint that became a five year gig is coming to end for Stewart Sherriff, the chief executive of challenger telecommunications provider 2Degrees.
The straight-talking Scotsman had been chairman of 2Degrees since 2010 when he stepped into the breach in April 2013 after the death of the company's then-CEO, Eric Hertz, in a light plane crash in the South Island.
"I arrived as interim CEO for what I thought would be a three month stay. We were looking forward to seeing a bit of New Zealand and the fact that it was heading into the rugby season was certainly a bonus," he said in a statement.
He will retire from the role, but only once a replacement has been found and will remain a director.
Sherriff will remain in the role until a replacement is found, then continue his involvement with the company by returning to its board.
Washington State-based 2degrees chair Brad Horwitz said Stewart's involvement with the company dated back to the early 2000s, when the idea of a third entrant mobile operator was first suggested.
"Stewart and I evaluated the viability of a third operator in New Zealand and came back very excited about the opportunity. He has since held a number of board roles, including chairman, before moving to New Zealand to lead the company to profitability. That experience is unique, so we've asked Stewart to stay involved as a director," said Horwitz.
Owned by Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Trilogy Group, 2Degrees reported a rise in net profit to $19 million in the year ended December 31, from $14.3m in 2016, on a 4.3 per cent revenue gain to $732.7m.