12 June 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Russell Stanners, the long-standing CEO of Vodafone NZ, is stepping down from his role in October, to be replaced by Jason Paris, the former CEO of Spark.
Speaking on what his future plans might be, Stanners has ruled out moving to Sky, which completed a $2.4bn with the New Zealand unit back in June 2016.
“I am ruling it out. My plan is to take a break post November 1 at the beach. Beyond that no plans at all," said Stanners according to The Stuff.
As for Paris, he left his position at Spark at the end of 2017 and joined Vodafone NZ in London, as its director of convergence acceleration. Prior to this he was head of digital media and strategy at TVNZ from 2006 to 2010, and then spent 18 months with TV3/FOUR before joining Spark in 2011 as CEO of home, mobile and business.
Both Stanners and Paris were personally congratulated by Simon Moutter, managing director of Spark on Twitter who said:
In the full statement to The Stuff, Stanners made it clear that the company would continue to operate as usual until his departure in October, saying:
"It's been an incredible journey and the time has come for me to step down from my role as Vodafone NZ chief executive. I'm committed to leading our great team until October, and beyond that I wish the company all the best as it enters a new era."
During his time with Vodafone Stanners led the company through a period of huge change, including the takeover of Ihug in 2006, of TelstraClear in 2012 and most recently of rural broadband provider Farmside. He also oversaw the transformation of the company from a purely mobile phone business to an integrated telecommunications company and got Vodafone NZ added as a partner in the Government's multi-million dollar Rural Broadband Initiative.
"He's done a pretty good job with Vodafone and I imagine he'll be looking for a new challenge. It's been a hard market over the last five-10 years and he's done pretty well," added Craig Young, CEO of the Telecommunications Users Association.