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Telecom senior exodus continues, HR boss O'Neill leaving

BUSINESSDESK: Telecom's senior manager exodus continued today, with group human resources director Jan O'Neill joining the exit queue after the country's biggest phone company split itself in two last year.

Ms O'Neill wraps up 20 years with the company across a raft of HR-related roles, heading up group human resources for the past 18 months, Telecom says in a statement.

She has left to further her career and will finish up at the end of November.

"She has had an exemplary career at Telecom, always acting with the highest integrity and professionalism, and being a great advocate for our people," chief executive Simon Moutter says.

"HR is a critical role in my leadership team and I will move quickly to fill the vacancy."

Ms O'Neill joins the growing list of top bosses leaving the firm since previous CEO Paul Reynolds carved out the Chorus unit as a standalone entity last year and left the company in June.

The line-up includes group general counsel Tristan Gilbertson, head of Telecom retail Alan Gourdie, director of corporate relations Tina Symmans and her two PR offsiders, Mark Watts and Ian Bonnar.

Telecom shares rose 1.5% to $2.415 in trading today and have climbed 19% this year.

Comments and questions

HR is total BS any way. We didn't need it 20 years ago and we don't need it now. No loss.

Needed now and in the future at Telecom to hand out the redundancy cheques - in a caring way and with patronising platitudes.

Hey, come on. If we do away with HR who is going to send out employee satisfaction surveys to create results to be ignored?

Agree, a lot of these positions are only filling a chair,and lessening the return for long suffering shareholders.

Not only handing out redundancy cheques but also writing nonsense such as calling hot desking in Telecom's new HQ as 'dynamic working' when we all knew it was the cheapskates trying to save money by not providing desk space for everyone. And claiming the new building was designed to have us wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work! My bladder and bowels are what wakes me in the morning and that fits perfectly with the nonsense this woman has spewed out over 20 years - all p*ss and wind.

I congratulate Jan, no doubt she has negotiated herself a great redundancy package and and is leaving on a high. What hasnt been said is how Telecom HR systematically eliminated unions within Telecom and how after that was achieved how sharply working conditions deteriorated.

Now with rolling restructures the order of the day Telecom has become a pretty terrible place to work and sadly Telecom will struggle to attract any real talent over the short term, which is pretty sad as Talent is precisely what they need if they are to reverse the losses they're suffering.

In short internal engagement is so bad that the latest engagement survey was hushed up and morale is awful. Well done Jan

agree with these comments, everyone knows all the HR stuff is just waffle. It is the doers (e.g IT, engineers) and the bean counters that run any big corporate

Spoken like people who don't understand how it actually works. Line managers are great doing their core roles but more often ther not tend to not know the ins and outs of labour laws and all the pitfalls that come with it. HR is there to make sure that correct guidlines are followed regarding the management of staff (rendundancies included) indivudually and collectivley. And before you ask no Im not in HR (Im a line manager). Comparing the labour market to 20 years ago is very silly because the landscape is vastly different.

@ #6 fair comments and there are many moving parts in a corporate the size of telecom. Sadly the HR team has been pretty much forced to create the ugly internal culture that exists in Telecom now.