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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.