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Advantage Appoints CEO Web Services

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Advantage Appoints CEO Web Services
Strategic Appointment Marks Advantage’s Preparation for Australiasian Growth

Auckland – 11 July 2000 – Advantage Group Limited (NZSE: ADV) today announced the appointment of Mike Stobbs to the newly created position of CEO Web Services. Reporting directly to Advantage CEO Greg Cross, Mr Stobbs will be responsible for spearheading Advantage’s rapidly accelerating eServices business, including overall strategy and performance.
“It’s a reflection of Advantage’s rapid growth that this appointment has become an imperative,” says CEO Greg Cross. “eServices is the fastest growing sector of the new economy. It’s driving Advantage’s growth and, as an organisation, we’re committed to rapidly expanding our capabilities in this area. The creation of this role marks the next phase of our expansion into Australasian and Asia Pacific markets.”
“Advantage is also readying for a substantial recruitment drive to complement its strong acceleration in the critical web services market. It’s is a high demand, tight supply business. We have grown from 60 employees in June 1999 to 524 today. Since January 1 this year we have recruited 82 people and we still have vacancies for another 95 people, and the majority of these are in web services. That’s 177 new jobs right in the heart of the knowledge economy.”
Mr Stobbs has over seven years’ experience in strategic management of e-commerce businesses. Prior to joining Advantage Group, Mr Stobbs was Regional Practice Director Australasia with Oracle Corporation. In this role he drew together over 350 consultants internationally to establish a regional practise. During this time he drove a number of e-commerce initiatives including CRM, exchange portals and data warehousing, helping Oracle grow into a regional e-commerce heavyweight.
Before Oracle, he ran his own consulting practise, Virtual Technologies, which helped organisations establish new delivery and channel strategies, including Internet strategies.
Prior to establishing his own consultancy, Mr Stobbs was a chief manager with the ASB Bank, where he was involved in establishing electronic banking channels including EFTPOS and desktop banking. He was involved in developing home Internet shopping initiatives including the first Woolworths trial, believed to be one of the world’s first. He also has considerable experience in payment channels and mechanisms, including clearing-houses and transaction processing.
“Mike’s significant e-commerce expertise is respected by operators throughout the region,” said Mr Cross. “Mike brings expert skills in helping regional businesses to leverage opportunities across the e-commerce sector.”
“I’m attracted to Advantage because of its energy and commitment to building a substantial web services business,” said Mr Stobbs. “Advantage is in the privileged position of being able to address all phases of a customer’s move to an Internet-enabled business model. The company services a tremendous breadth of e-commerce with speed and agility, and I’m keen to leverage the end-to-end solutions Advantage offers.”
About Advantage Group
Advantage Group Limited, an NZSE listed company, is a leading supplier of e-commerce and transaction processing solutions in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the southern hemisphere. The company has three business units: point-of-sale equipment, retail solutions and business-to-business e-commerce. Advantage provides hardware, software, transaction processing and funds transfer capabilities to enable complete e-commerce solutions.
ENDS

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