Spark New Zealand announced today its chief turnaround officer, Matt Crockett, will leave in the middle of the year as the operator completes its turnaround project.

Crockett rejoined Spark in mid-2013 to lead this programme, which was aimed at delivering significant cost and business improvements across the business.

Managing director Simon Moutter claimed that “by any measure, Matt has done a tremendous job”.

Moutter said the programme has been “a strategic pillar” in the ongoing transformation of operator Spark. “It is delivering significant financial benefits and is helping create the headroom that has allowed Spark not only to reduce prices to offer customers more value, but also is enabling Spark to invest in new growth areas such as Lightbox and Cloud IT”.

He said the operator’s focus is now shifting from resetting the foundation of the company to building upon this foundation in pursuit of growth.

A month ago Spark announced a number of leadership changes, following news that the head of its home, mobile and business group, Chris Quin, will leave the company by end-June.

The company said at the time it made the leadership changes as it prepares to integrate its turnaround programme into its everyday businesses and launch its “digital first” programme, aimed at transforming the company into a digital services leader.

Spark reported last week its EBITDA for its fiscal H1 ending December 31 fell 3.5 per cent to NZD436 million ($328 million) due to rebranding costs and higher reorganisation costs. Its net earnings were flat at NZD147 million.

While overall revenue decreased 2.7 per cent to NZD1.79 billion, mobile revenue increased 2.4 per cent. Fixed-line revenue dropped 5.8 per cent. Operating expenses declined 2.4 per cent to NZD1.36 billion.

The operator increased its market share 1 point to 40 per cent as it added 108,000 mobile subscribers during the half.