Telecom Retail CEO Alan Gourdie quits

Retail boss had mixed record.

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.

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