boardroom

2Degrees chief executive to stand down

A three-month emergency stint that became a five-year gig is coming to end for Stewart Sherriff, the chief executive of challenger telecommunications provider 2Degrees.

The straight-talking Scotsman had been chairman of 2Degrees since 2010 when he stepped into the breach in April 2013 after the death of the company's then-CEO, Eric Hertz, in a light plane crash in the South Island.

“I arrived as interim CEO for what I thought would be a three-month stay. We were looking forward to seeing a bit of New Zealand and the fact that it was heading into the rugby season was certainly a bonus,” he said in a statement.

He will retire from the role, but only once a replacement has been found and will remain a director.

Sherriff will remain in the role until a replacement is found, then continue his involvement with the company by returning to its board.

Washington State-based 2degrees chair Brad Horwitz said Stewart’s involvement with the company dated back to the early 2000s, when the idea of a third entrant mobile operator was first suggested.

“Stewart and I evaluated the viability of a third operator in New Zealand and came back very excited about the opportunity. He has since held a number of board roles, including chairman, before moving to New Zealand to lead the company to profitability. That experience is unique, so we’ve asked Stewart to stay involved as a director,” said Horwitz.

Owned by Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Trilogy Group, 2Degrees reported a rise in net profit to $19 million in the year ended December 31, from $14.3 million in 2016, on a 4.3 percent revenue gain to $732.7 million.

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