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New Chief Executive Appointed For Telecom

The new Telecom Chief Executive Officer will be Theresa Gattung, currently the Group General Manager Services.

Ms Gattung's appointment will be effective from 1 October 1999, following the retirement of Roderick Deane as Chief Executive on 30 September. Dr Deane will succeed Peter Shirtcliffe as Chairman of the Board of Directors on October 1. Mr Shirtcliffe will remain on the Board as a non-executive Director.

In announcing Ms Gattung's appointment, the Chairman, Peter Shirtcliffe said that Ms Gattung's track record over the last five years with Telecom had been very impressive. "Theresa has been the driving force in growing revenues for Telecom in a highly competitive marketplace, introducing exciting new products and services, and in leading the competitive positioning of the company including in the online areas while, at the same time, exercising firm control over both costs and capital expenditure.

"Theresa (37) has an unusually strong background in a series of major companies within New Zealand with a very considerable breadth of interests.

"In her present position she oversees around 90 percent of Telecom's total $3.4 billion revenue, around $700 million in expenditure and has about 4,000 people within her group, equivalent to approximately half the company's total staff.

"Theresa is a leader of exceptional talent and the company looks forward to an exciting future under her oversight and guidance," Mr Shirtcliffe said.

Before becoming Group General Manager Services in April 1996, Theresa Gattung was General Manager of Marketing for Telecom, and prior to that Chief Manager Marketing for the Bank of New Zealand following a period in a similar position with National Mutual. Ms Gattung has a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours from the University of Waikato, majoring in Economics and Marketing. She also has a law degree from Victoria University of Wellington.

Mr Shirtcliffe said that Ms Gattung's appointment followed an international search for a new chief executive. Candidates from Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand had been assessed and interviewed in a process which had taken several months.

"The Board is very pleased that the final result of this exhaustive and thorough process was the appointment of an internal candidate and particularly one with such a strong track record in topline corporate and commercial management."

Mr Shirtcliffe concluded by saying that he knew that staff, management and shareholders of the company would welcome Ms Gattung's appointment to the position of Chief Executive, and that the Board wished her every success in her new role.

ENDS

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