Heart attack claims Datacom boss

Datacom group chief executive Michael Browne died suddenly of a heart attack over the weekend.

He was 47.

"Michael suffered an apparent major heart attack during a mountain bike ride on
Saturday", Datacom Chairman and majority owner John Holdsworth said in a statement.

"It is tragic that Michael has been taken from us in the prime of his life. His business skills, energy, commitment and passion made him a fine leader and he will be greatly missed.

“Michael has had an extremely successful career. During his 18 years with Datacom he built up a strong network of clients, colleagues and friends, all of whom are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragedy.

“Michael is survived by his wife Sue and three children Fraser, Ashleigh and
Cameron. Our deepest sympathy is with them and their extended family at this
time”, Mr Holdsworth said.

John Holdsworth will continue in the role of Executive Chairman of the Datacom
Group and will assume Michael’s responsibilities with the support of Datacom’s
directors until further notice.

Privately held Datacom is New Zealand's largest locally-owned IT services company, with 1500 staff locally; 3000 employees in total and annual revenue of $667 million.

Mr Browne (pictured) was responsible for Datacom’s Australian and Asian businesses from 1999.

On July 12 this year, Mr Holdsworth announced that Mr Browne had been appointed group chief executive.

In the new role, Mr Browne would have full responsibility for all of the operations within Datacom, working closely with Greg Davidson, Datacom NZ chief executive in New Zealand, Mr Holdsworth said.

Datacom staff were informed in an email that went to all staff on Sunday.

A number of companies that partner with Datacom began to forward the news this morning.

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This is a sad day, not only for his family and friends but for NZ business. Michael was an outstanding business leader.

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So sad to read this news and we are Datacom's employee in KL would like to send our deeply sorry to his family.

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Having worked at Datacom & knowing Michael, I was so saddened to hear this news from friends this morning. Terrible!

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With Michael having spent so long on the international stage showing what Kiwi's are made of and taking it to the world his passing is a huge loss, for New Zealand and for Datacom.

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Deepest condolence to his family - Datacom Employee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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As a friend during High school years Michael showed even then, great joie de vivre, his ambitions were open ended and he dared to dream big, in fact very big. We was well grounded when many of us were trying to decide who and what we wanted to be. He was a leader even then. He showed enormous potential and it is no surprise to anyone that he became so very successful. What a great credit he was to his parents. Michael will leave a great void in many people's lives but that is the price we willingly pay for knowing such a great guy.

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It is several years since I worked at Datacom but I do remember the fun times when Michael was around. It is so hard to take in. Fond thoughts go out to his family and friends.

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Gone to soon.....

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thats "too" soon

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What a huge loss for his family. Michael was a great guy and a true super star Kiwi exec. He set up Datacom Australia and what a success that has been. His contriibution and capability was just recently further recognised with the promotion to group CEO and now his sudden death at 47, hard to believe.

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Very sad to hear about Michael's untimely death - he was a great leader. Sincere sympathies to his family.

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I knew Michael as a teenager growing up in Christchurch through my brother who was a great mate of his and he told me of the news of Michael's sudden passing. I am very saddened to hear this news and my sympathy goes to Sue and family. All the very best. My memories of Mike were of a guy with a lot of confidence, and a big laugh, the life and soul of any party he had "presence".

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I have known Michael since university days. I have many fond memories of then and more recently holidays in the Marlborough Sounds. He had a great presence about him and inspired everyone around him. He loved life and loved to have fun. What a great guy and a person we will miss deeply. Farewell my friend.

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