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Telecom Retail CEO Alan Gourdie quits

Telecom Retail chief exectuvie Alan Gourdie, who unsuccessfuly bid for the CEO role, is leaving the company.

Last December, Mr Gourdie told NBR ONLINE he had put his hand up for the top job, also contested by Gen-i boss Chris Quin.

The successful applicant, Auckland Airport boss Simon Mouter, officially starts on September 1, but has already been involved in meetings and planning sessions at Telecom, NBR understands.

Mr Gourdie – a one-time global marketing executive with Heineken – was credited with a successful revamp of Telecom's retail operation, smooth help desk outsourcing and holding Telecom's share above 50% in the newly competitive retail broadband market through the Total Home package and other initiatives.

However, XT, which also falls under Telecom Retail, has performed under analysts' expectations in terms of market share as Vodafone has slipped only, and 2degreees surged to 950,000 customers, including 100,000 on contract.

XT's technical failures soon after launch were pinned on those involved on the infrastructure and planning side of the roll-out but did make life a lot more difficult for Mr Gourdie's retail division, which struggled to regain the initative.

Mr Gourdie's misses also included the unsuccessful TiVo launch – in which Telecom was TVNZ's exclusive retail partner and zero-rated data – and various controversies at new mobile sub-brand Skinny, where there have been recent personnel changes and an abrupt change in marketing direction.

Mr Gourdie's last day will be October 31.

His departure was announced by acting CEO Chris Quin.

Mr Gourdie was appointed under former chief executive Paul Reynolds in 2008. He left the company at the end of June.

Telecom is due to report its half-year result on or around August 24. In its previous six-month period, reported in February, the company lost 180,000 mobile customers.

The company's shares [NZX:TEL] rose 1.7% yesterday to close at $2.70. Immediately after the November separation of Chorus, Telecom was at $1.98.

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions

How sad (NOT), In my time at Telecom I watched as Alan gourdie did an uncountable amount of damage to Telecom simply because he felt he knew better (as the results show he didn't).

I could summarise this in one word: TIVO

A word of advice Alan, at your next job listen tot he people under you and around you. God help the next company you end up at.

Maybe he will pop up in charge of Fixed business, reporting to Stanners in Vodafone 2.0? Just saying...

it'd be the best thing happen to Telecom ever. I'd even say buy TEL shares if this does come to pass

What do you mean people!? His brainchild the All Black World Cup 'Abstain' campaign was genius! Countless other brilliant ideas in his time too. Too bad he never took any credit them.

Telecom chief marketing officer Kieren Cooney (now CMO for Australia's National Broadband Network) took the credit, and the hit, for the pink fist Wold Cup campaign.

There did seems to be a degree of uncoordination in the chain of command as Cooney went on TV to defend the abastain ads, only to be followed within hours by Gourdie, who said the campaign would not go ahead.

Not Telecom Retail's finest moment.

You can't tell me the rest of the Telecom's Execs approved that campaign. They were all involved in various 'spitting' contests, and Alan running with this was a big FU that really backfired on him.

Paul Reynolds made a great figurehead but he couldn't manage a team of seven people.

AG did some good things, but also made some huge mistakes. TIVO was a massive disaster....the marketing under AG (and he was supposed to be a top marketer himself?) was also a train wreck....herbison left /pushed after only one year and creating a mess (7 jobs in almost as many wonder!), Cooney...abstain campaign also left after a short time....XT PR nightmere...the list goes on....I wish AG all the best but perhaps Telecom will be much better without him.

Appointed by the deadbeat Brogue Rogue. Say no more....

It all went downhill after CTO Dr. MIlner left ...

"smooth help desk outsourcing "
Comedy Gold.

I've always found Telecom's help operation (for mobile and broadband) pretty good. The call back system actually works, and personally I've had polite and knowledgeable responses from Manila-based staff and no language problems.

The after hours support is a jump on most rivals, too.

Personally I think Telecom Retail has done well in this area (and a lot of offshoring has been abysmal - Yellow being the prime example).

I think the answer is very simple Telecom communicate campaigns in an academic/intellectual way whist Voda used emotional. Telecom were obsessed with their internal systems and regulatory issues whilst the others were unemcumbered.

Having migrated away from Telecom for a bunch of products I do find the support by most other players is nothing short of abysmal. So bad in fact that I went back to Telecom for mobile.

SLingshot still have my business only because their offering is uncapped. As soon as Telecom get parity of offering I'll be straight back there

I was a huge fan of Allan, he made me hot

I've dealt with Gourdie quite a few times and you can't question his integrity or his contribution to Telecom over the last few years - which has seen Telecom shareholders get a significant return on their investment.

I heard staff at Telecom partied hard on Friday night. If Gourdie was all that and spare change, why was he so universally reviled by most telecom employees?