Tim Miles and Rod Snodgrass to depart as Spark shuffles its executive team

Spark’s public relations arm today announced a number of changes to its leadership team, including the departure of Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles (left) and Spark Ventures CEO Rod Snodgrass (right) at the end of the year.

Miles, who first arrived at the company in 2013, will be replaced by Jolie Hodson, who has also been with the telco since 2013 and currently serves as the chief financial officer.

Spark has already recruited a replacement for Hodson, but has still not publicly announced the name on account of still finalising the details.

Spark managing director Simon Mouter has still not announced a replacement for Snodgrass, but says the company will be looking for a replacement from within the company’s talent pool. The statement says that several employees have already put forward their names as part of the application process. 

“Leadership succession is something many companies grapple with,” Mouter said in his statement.  “This announcement shows our determination to do this right and ensure Spark New Zealand has strong, effective leadership for the period ahead. I’m particularly proud that the majority of the above moves involve the promotion of our own people.”

The Ventures arm of Spark has played a particularly important marketing role for the company over the last two years, as it has led to a range of digital innovations that have been central to some of the company’s core marketing messages (all of these have also been linked to the digital side of the business).

Spark Digital Apps, Bigpipe, Lightbox and Morepork are just some of the innovations to have emerged from Spark Ventures—and these are helping to diversify the Spark business as it transitions from a telco to a broader digital business.    

The management tinkering going on at Spark is in many ways reminiscent of that going on at major media companies. In much the same way that NZME and MediaWorks are reorganising their operations in an effort to operate across a variety of channels, so too are telcos being forced to change the way they do business. And given that the digital age isn’t showing any indication of slowing down, this recalibration is likely to continue for sometime.   

In addition to the impending departures of Miles and Snodgrass, Claire Barber (current general manager of Change and Technology) to lead Spark Platforms as chief digital officer.

Furthermore, chief operating officer David Havercroft has shifted across to the position of chief transformation officer.

These changes follow on from a slew of changes announced early this year, and come as part of the continued evolution of the company from Telecom to Spark.

“I have been in discussions for some months now with various members of the Leadership Team about what they want for the future and equally what the company wants – ensuring we have the team ready to see the company through the next period of significant change as we strive for a return to growth,” Mouter said.

The current Spark leadship team is as follows:

  • Managing director: Simon Moutter
  • Chief financial officer: (To be announced shortly)
  • Chief transformation officer: David Havercroft
  • CEO, Spark Digital: Jolie Hodson
  • CEO, Spark HMB: Jason Paris
  • CEO, Spark Ventures: (To be announced on completion of an internal selection process)
  • COO, Spark connect: Mark Beder
  • CDO, Spark platforms: Claire Barber
  • Group HR director: Joe McCollum

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