Kiwi Roundup: All change as two key NZ execs depart; Kordia wins SD-WAN deal

It’s been a week of change in the Kiwi market, with news of two key executives – the head of Vodafone NZ and New Zealand’s government chief digital officer and Department of Internal Affairs boss – stepping down. Meanwhile, Kordia is celebrating a big SD-WAN win.

Change at the top for Vodafone NZ

Vodafone NZ chief executive Russell Stanners has announced he is stepping down from the top job at the end of October, after 13 years in the role. Jason Paris, Vodafone director for Convergence Acceleration for the AMAP region and former Spark NZ home, mobile and business CEO, will take over the role on November 1.

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Stanners, who joined Vodafone NZ in 2002 as the company’s first enterprise director, was appointed to the CEO role in 2005. Vodafone AMAP regional CEO Vivek Badrinath said Stanners has “transformed” the company from a consumer mobile business to a digital technology leader, providing fixed, TV, converged and mobile services to more than two million customers.

NZ chief digital officer resigns

Also leaving – this time from a role as New Zealand’s government chief digital officer and chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs – is Colin MacDonald.

Paul James, currently chief executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will take over from MacDonald as secretary for Internal Affairs and DIA chief executive in October.

MacDonald has been the DIA chief executive since 2012, moving across from his role as CEO of Land Information NZ, where he led the cross-government programme for data and information re-use. His time at the DIA saw procurement panels introduced for all of government purchasing of ICT.

The New Zealand government has struggled to fill the newly created role of government chief technology officer, sparking speculation that MacDonald could be headed there.

The news of MacDonald’s departure was one of a flurry of announcements on changes in public service executives, with the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Ministry for Primary Industries also gaining new bosses over the next 12 months. All of the appointments are transfers from other government departments.

“Colin MacDonald is stepping down as Secretary for Internal Affairs, to pursue new opportunities,” State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said. “I have huge respect and admiration for Colin, who has made a significant contribution in a number of senior leadership roles since joining the Public Service in 2001 after a notable career in the private sector. I thank him for his service.”

Kordia Cisco Meraki-based SD-WAN offering to bring peace of mind to Wise Group

Korida is rolling out a 54 site SD-WAN offering, based on Cisco Meraki equipment, for New Zealand mental health and wellbeing provider Wise Group.

The SD-WAN is expected to reduce Wise’s wide area networking costs by up to 50%, while also simplifying management and operation of the WAN and increasing flexibility, performance and capabilities.

Wise already uses Kordia’s SecureWAN offering, but Mark Thorn, Wise Group general manager of information services, said the company was looking for ‘something more flexible and recognised that we didn’t need the bulletproof quality of service of a traditional WAN.

“Probably the biggest advantage of SD-WAN is that it delivers flexibility,” Thorn said. “We can extend the WAN to wherever it needs to go, whenever we need it to go there; it is easy to split off to temporary residential sites, for example, and it opens the pipes for full speed access along with all the corporate policies we want to provide.”

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