April 2, 2019 / 7:59 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Spark New Zealand CEO Moutter resigns, insider to take charge

(Adds details, background)

April 3 (Reuters) - Spark New Zealand Ltd said on Wednesday Simon Moutter had stepped down as Managing Director and will be succeeded by insider Jolie Hodson.

Hodson has held a variety of roles at Spark since joining it in 2013, most recently serving as customer director and will take the helm as chief executive officer from July 1, 2019.

Spark’s Chairwoman Justine Smyth said the change was in-line with company’s succession plan as Moutter had joined the company in 2012 on expectations of a five- to seven-year tenure.

Hodson’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for Spark which is trying to launch a 5G network by 2020.

In November, New Zealand’s intelligence agency rejected Spark’s proposal to use 5G equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, citing significant national security risks.

Spark said in February it had yet to make final decision about whether or when it should submit a revised proposal to the intelligence service. But it said it was confident this would not affect plans to launch 5G network as Spark is multi-vendor capable.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans

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