Spark director Maury Leyland to resign next month as Fonterra duties mount

The board has started its search to replace Leyland.

Spark New Zealand [NZX: SPK] director Maury Leyland will resign from the telecommunications company's board from the end of next month as she spends more time at her day-job as Fonterra Cooperative Group's [NZX: FCG] head of people, culture and strategy.

The Auckland-based company's board has started its search to replace Leyland, who finishes up on Feb. 28 to focus on other commitments, especially her role at Fonterra, it said in a statement. Spark, formerly known as Telecom Corp, is looking both domestically and abroad for a candidate whose skills will complement the existing board, challenge thinking on business and customers in the digital age and contributes to the company's strategic ambitions.

"Maury has helped govern Spark New Zealand through a bold repositioning strategy including the recent rebrand," chairman Mark Verbiest said. "Maury's skills and experience in strategic development and execution and in building the internal culture needed to underpin successful change have played a big part in our positive progress to date."

Leyland's departure comes a day after long-serving senior executive Chris Quin announced his departure from the company in the middle of the year, and as Spark changes tack from its turnaround plan to roll out a new 'digital first' strategy where the firm aims to create the nation's leading digital services platform and suite of digital applications to underpin market growth.

The shares rose 3.1 percent to $3.495, and have climbed 8.8 percent this year.