By Richard Braddell

WELLINGTON - New chief executive Theresa Gattung is committed to making Telecom a "supremely agile company" that can respond quickly to new technologies and customer needs.

She said Telecom's management was united in its goals to move quickly on fast-growth opportunities in mobile data, as well as exploiting activities in Australia, but still had to work out the "how" of doing that.

"What I'm in the process of doing with the management is the how: how are we going to organise to do these things more quickly and to do all these things at once?" she said.


At the annual meeting in Wellington yesterday, Theresa Gattung and outgoing chief executive Dr Roderick Deane reiterated that Telecom wanted less than outright control of Australian telecommunications takeover target AAPT, the reason being that it wanted AAPT to retain its distinctive entrepreneurial culture.

Telecom is believed to want less than 50 per cent, but Dr Deane declined to comment on Telecom's objectives because it would be "inappropriate while the bid was on the table."

The formal offer is expected to be presented to AAPT's shareholders in a fortnight with the outcome in about six weeks.

Telecom shareholders yesterday approved a collective pay rise of up to $200,000 for the company's directors, partly to recognise Dr Deane's appointment as chairman.

He retires as Telecom's chief executive today and takes over from Peter Shirtcliffe as chairman.

Shareholders at yesterday's annual meeting in Wellington sanctioned a rise in the amount directors can be collectively paid to $950,000 from $750,000.