Appointments

Vocus’s Mike Schwarz takes over as CEO of Cook Islands cable

Mike Schwartz Avaroa.jpg

Avaroa Cable, which operates the Cook Islands’ subsea connection, has appointed Mike Schwarz as its new CEO, taking over from Ranulf Scarbrough.

Schwarz (pictured) was Vocus’s business manager for transformation in New Zealand, and is moving to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

Avaroa Cable is the Cook Islands company that delivered the Manatua Cable to the islands’ shores during the pandemic. Before the cable went into service in 2020 the islands relied on satellites for international communications.

The company said it thanked Scarbrough “for successfully delivering the Manatua Cable construction and establishing the company as a thriving business amidst sustained global disruption”.

Schwarz said: “I am thrilled to be taking the helm at ACL [Avaroa Cable]. I very much look forward to working with the ACL team, the board and the many important stakeholders we have, and to continue delivering for the people of the Cook Islands.”

He has many years of subsea cable experience, having managed the network operations centre for the Southern Cross Cable Network from 1999 to 2014, and simultaneously managed service operations for what was Telecom New Zealand – now Spark NZ.

Scarbrough is now in the UK, where he spent seven years leading BT’s Superfast Cornwall programme, bringing broadband to one of the country’s poorest areas.

He joined Avaroa Cable when it was “without a single employee or even an office and, in telecommunications terms, in a hugely challenging location”. He added: “Today, ACL is a bustling enterprise, delivering for the people of the Cook Islands. I am incredibly proud of the local team we have built and what has been delivered.”

Cooks Islands prime minster Mark Brown said: “I thank Ranulf Scarbrough for his tireless efforts to get us to where we are today, and I welcome Mike Schwarz and I look forward to him continuing this important work.”

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