Telecom recruits Lion CFO to lead financial strategy

Telecom recruits Lion CFO to lead financial strategy

New appointment comes as telecoms player reports dips in financial results and new corporate strategy to meet the realities of changing customer demands

ASX-listed Telecom (ASX: TEL) has appointed for Lion Group CFO Jolie Hodson as its new CFO as the operator looks to secure a new strategic position and make hundreds of job cuts in the face of a changing telecoms market.

Hodson has been the Sydney-based finance director of Lion group’s largest business unit, Beer, Spirits and Wine Australia, since April 2008. Prior to joining Lion in 2000 and holding a variety of sales and marketing, commercial finance and corporate finance roles, she spent eight years with Deloitte’s audit division in Auckland, her native country.

Hodson replaces Nick Olson, who resigned from the post last December. Until she starts in June, GM of commercial finance, Tim Bluett will be acting CFO.

Telecom CEO Simon Moutter highlighted Hodson’s proven track record at translating strategy into execution as key to her appointment.

“Jodie brings strong and varied experience from more than a decade working in an industry widely recognised for a strong focus on brands, customer service excellence and operating in highly competitive markets. All of these are common characteristics of the environment in which Telecom now operates,” he said.

“Jolie will be a welcome addition to our leadership team as we accelerate our strategic shift to become a future-oriented, competitive provider of communication, entertainment and IT services delivered over our networks and the cloud.”

Telecom is taking an axe to its corporate strategy to cope with the shift from fixed-line phones to mobile, and from voice to data. The impact of this shift is reflected in in its half yearly report to 31 December 2012, where it revealed total EBITDA of $516m, a significant drop from $1.65bn the prior comparative period. Total net profit was $163m, compared with $1bn previously, while pre-tax earnings reached $506m. Total revenues hit $2.13bn, an 8.5 per cent dip year-on-year.

Telecom pointed out results were impacted by the demerger of Chorus in December 2011 and claimed the adjusted EBITDA in the first half of this current financial year was actually 3.7 per cent higher than the prior comparative period thanks to reduced operating costs.

However, in the face of the tougher trading environment and challenges, Moutter flagged hundreds of job losses across its 7,000-strong workforce. More details are expected in the next three months.

“Mobile revenue is higher on the back of demand growth and there has been good growth in net customer connections since the closure of the CDMA network,” Moutter stated. “On the other hand, fixed calling revenue has continued to decline in line with industry trends and following a strategic decision by our Australian unit AAPT to rationalise some low margin business.”

Telecom isn't the one one looking at jobs cuts.Earlier this month, Australian companies announced 1,200 job cuts in one day.

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Tags strategy managementfinancial resultsjob cutsTelecom NZCFO appointment

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