Jason Paris quits Spark for offshore job

Spark's chief executive of home, mobile and business, Jason Paris, is leaving in early 2018.

Mr Paris says he is off to "a leadership position with a large global business based offshore" but can't spill any further details at this point.

The exec joined Spark in 2011 from MediaWorks, where he was in charge of the broadcaster's television operations, and assumed his current role in mid-2015.

Previously, Mr Paris was head of digital media and marketing at TVNZ, and seen by many as the heir apparent to Rick Ellis.

After effectively serving as the No 2 at TVNZ, MediaWorks and Spark, he may now have his opportunity to finally sit in the big chair.

Spark managing director Simon Moutter says, “In the six years Jason has been with Spark, we’ve seen an extraordinary improvement in market performance, particularly in mobile. Jason was also a pivotal player in the successful rebrand from Telecom to Spark and has more recently been a driving force in building a better digital experience for our customers.

“We are obviously very sad to see Jason go but thank him for everything he’s done and wish him all the best with his next career move.”

Despite his slick corporate appearance, Mr Paris always had the capacity to surprise.

One of this reporter's favourite Paris moments was an event announcing the name change to Spark. Mr Paris stood up in front of the audience, and for several minutes did nothing but read angry customer messages to Telecom customer support, most containing language that cannot be repeated in this publication.

One issue for Spark: With the high-profile Chris Quin (now Foodstuffs chief executive) and Mr Paris out of the picture, there is no obvious inhouse successor to Mr Moutter, should he exit at any point.

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