Spark has announced the appointment of Stephen Ponsford as the new CEO for its data, analytics, and AI business, Qrious.
Ponsford succeeds Nathalie Morris, who made the decision to move onto new ventures in October 2021.
He has been working as Acting CEO for Qrious since Morris’ departure and was formerly the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, having joined Qrious in 2017. The appointment signals the firm’s increased focus on accelerating New Zealand’s data transformation.
“I’m incredibly proud to lead an organisation that is truly purpose-led and value-driven. An organisation that is already associated with many projects of national significance, helping to improve domestic outcomes in the private and public sectors. The world of data, analytics and AI is playing an increasingly significant role in modern life, offering unprecedented opportunities for human development and innovation. Organisations are placing greater value on opportunities arising from these technologies and we can’t wait to help NZ organisations on their journey,” says Ponsford.
In announcing the appointment, Matt Bain, Spark Marketing Director, says: “Stephen is dedicated to transforming Kiwi businesses through the application of data analytics and AI, and we are excited to see how he will take Qrious to the next level after almost 10 years in the business. We have an opportunity to accelerate towards a vibrant and inclusive digital economy driven by data intelligence and AI technologies. Stephen brings a wealth of experience and credentials to the role and will undoubtedly help unlock the value and potential of Qrious’ offering for New Zealand business.”
Qrious, part of the Spark Business Group, is dedicated to New Zealand’s growth as a digital nation, creating products and services that transform organisations and investing significantly in building local AI and data analytics skills and capability.
Qrious recently released the State of Artificial Intelligence in New Zealand report which highlighted the stark divide between AI adoption in small and large businesses in New Zealand and the implications of Kiwi organisations being left behind as the sector develops rapidly globally.