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Telecom N.Z. Names Airport Head Moutter as Chief Executive

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Telecom Corp. of New Zealand, the nation’s biggest telephone company, appointed the head of the country’s busiest airport Simon Moutter as chief executive officer effective Sept. 1.

Moutter today resigned as CEO of Auckland International Airport Ltd. to take up the Telecom role, replacing Paul Reynolds, according to a statement. He will receive a base salary of NZ$1.35 million ($1.1 million) plus performance bonuses in cash and shares.

Moutter, who was chief operating officer at Telecom before leaving in 2008, will head the nation’s biggest supplier of phone and broadband services and owner of the second-largest mobile network. Telecom, which spun off its Chorus Ltd. unit last year, is cutting costs to help spark a profit recovery.

Moutter’s “knowledge of the telecommunications industry in New Zealand is strong and deep,” Chairman Mark Verbiest said in the statement. “He has demonstrated he can deliver growth in a challenging environment.”

Telecom shares rose 1.8 percent to NZ$2.55 at the 5 p.m. market close in Wellington, the highest close since August 2008.

Moutter will be entitled to NZ$750,000 in cash and shares worth NZ$600,000 when he meets performance targets set by the board, the company said. He will be eligible for NZ$1 million in share rights annually.

The salary and bonus package “represents the market rate” for a CEO, Verbiest said.

Moutter worked at Telecom from 1999, largely responsible for network operations before becoming head of operations in 2002. Before that, he was CEO at electricity company Powerco.

“I feel privileged to be selected to lead a resurgent Telecom,” he said in the statement.

Auckland Airport named Chief Financial Officer Simon Robertson as acting CEO from September and said it will start a search for Moutter’s replacement, in a separate statement. The stock fell 0.5 cents to NZ$2.51.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

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