Two of New Zealand's higher-profile technology commentators have new roles in their real-life careers.
Paul Brislen has been named the new chief executive of the Telecommunications Carriers Forum, an industry group whose members include Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees, Vocus and Chorus.
The TCF makes submissions on Government policy, as well as wrangling practical issues that cut across different industry players - such as its recent push to introduce new practices to clamp down on SIM card high-jacking (an initiative still in progress).
One-time Pizza Hut delivery driver Brislen became an IT journalist and editor of Computerworld NZ and acting technology editor at the NZ Herald before going on to a career in communications and lobbying that included head of corporate communications for Vodafone NZ and a stint as CEO of consumer advocacy group the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (Tuanz).
Most recently, he has been running his own consultancy and serving as strategic communications manager for Datacom.
Brislen told the Herald he would be "standing clear" from his current roles once he starts at the TCF on August 9.
He indicated the recent remote-working boom would be a point of focus.
"With the tech sector growing rapidly, our telcos provide a platform that allows us to grow this opportunity right around the country," Brislen said.
"Covid has shown that being able to work remotely is not only a nice-to-have add-on, it's essential if we are to attract talent, and keep the economy alive.
"Imagine what it would have been like if we'd had to work from home with everyone on dial-up?"
Brislen - who became a Kiwi citizen on the brink of the pandemic - will be practising what he preaches. He told the Herald he would be working from his Auckland home office.
He replaces Geoff Thorn, who became TCF head after a six-year stint as head of the NZ Parliamentary Service. Thorn has become a self-employed business consultant.
Meanwhile, Ben Kepes - a former Sir Peter Blake leadership award winner and current NZ Herald Business columnist - has been appointed to the board of Kordia, the state-owned enterprise once best-known for TV broadcasting infrastructure but more recently focussed on broadband and IT services.
Kepes' broad-ranging career has involved everything from his workplace apparel company Albion, his outdoor clothing and gear firm Cactus Equipment and his cafe supplies business C Group, plus investment and advisory roles with startups including Mea Mobile, Raygun and Common Ledger and directorships with Pegasus Health, social-impact investment vehicle the Ākina Foundation and Paenga Kupenga - a subsidiary of Ngai Tahu's investment arm, Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga.
Kordia, which operates across Australia and NZ, has recently been making a push into cyber-security.
In 2015, the SOE bought cyber-security consultancy Aura Information Security. And it has since bolstered its cyber-security team to more than 100 through its acquisitions of Emrge, Base2 and, most recently, SecOps.
Kordia promoted its CFO Shaun Rendell to CEO in January following the death of its long-time chief executive Scott Bartlett in December.
The SOE reported $9.6m profit for the year to June 30, 2020, after making a $149,000 loss in 2019. Revenue increased by 10 per cent to $223 million.