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Walker Wireless Appoints New Chief Executive

May 11, 2001

Former Xtra CEO Bob Smith is to take over the reigns at the country’s broadband specialist Walker Wireless with the resignation of chief executive Paul Ryan.

Mr Smith has been on the Walkers board for over a year and is one of the country’s most experienced telecommunications managers.

Mr Ryan has resigned to work full time for PLATO CIS, a software company in which he is an investor. He is to leave Walker Wireless at the end of June and will be based in the UK for PLATO in the immediate future.

Walker Wireless chairman Rod Inglis said he was disappointed to lose Mr Ryan, but understood why he wished to pursue another opportunity, and had accepted his resignation with regret.

“We’re fortunate to have a great management team, and that Bob’s ongoing involvement in the company ensures a smooth transition,” he said.

Mr Ryan said that he had initially hoped that his investment in PLATO CIS would not require his executive time, but this had not proved possible given the rapid growth of the company and its international opportunities.

“This was a really hard decision. I’ve been with this company for nine years, and it’s been such a great time,” he said.

Mr Ryan worked for sister company Walker Datavision prior to assisting Mr Inglis found and develop Walker Wireless around 18 months ago. Since then Walker’s fixed wireless network has rolled out to nine leading centres around New Zealand, offering affordable, fixed price wireless bandwidth.

Mr Ryan said that his decision was made easier knowing that Mr Smith had accepted a position as managing director, and that the company now had a strong management team that was taking the business forward.

“We’ve taken a new business and created a world-class, truly New Zealand carrier. We’re now the second largest network in New Zealand per premise passed. We’ve got an enviable list of customers, and a strong and developing range of products.”

Mr Inglis said that the company valued Mr Ryan’s contribution.

“It’s a fantastic market to be in, and Paul’s role in starting up and developing the business has been tremendous.”

Mr Smith said he was fortunate to be taking on a business in good heart and with very significant growth opportunities.

“The wireless revolution is only just beginning, and by focusing on the basics and creating a world-class network Walker Wireless is extremely well placed,” he said.

For further information:
tel: 09 522 3699

Rod Inglis
Walker Wireless
Tel: 021 978602

Bob Smith
Managing Director
Walker Wireless
Tel: 025 933 827

Paul Ryan
Chief Executive Officer
Walker Wireless
Tel: 021 981821

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