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New CEO unveiled for proposed 2degrees-Orcon merger

By Shannon Williams
Fri 4 Feb 2022

Mark Callander will be CEO of a combined 2degrees and Orcon Group business if the proposed merger gets the green light. 

The merged company, which is awaiting regulatory and other approvals, will be known as 2degrees, which the companies say recognises the significant value of the 2degrees brand in New Zealand. 

"2degrees is a powerful and respected brand among its more than 1.5 million customers, and also in New Zealand more widely. That makes it a compelling choice as the hero customer and employment brand post completion of any merger," they say is a joint statememt.

“2degrees has built a fantastic brand, one that really speaks to New Zealanders and represents choice, world-class customer service and Kiwi innovation,” says Callander.

“A merger of Orcon and 2degrees creates an extraordinary opportunity to bring together two fantastic teams of people who share a laser-sharp focus on innovation and service to meet customers’ needs. Together we propose to create a genuine third force in the New Zealand telecommunications market," he says.

“Pending regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other conditions, the integration and growth of the companies for the post completion period will be focused on continued innovation and service excellence.”

Callander adds, “Mark Aue has done a great job building the 2degrees business over the last few years. The strong growth momentum and the world class network that has been built has positioned the business for long term success.  

"Mark has driven a real challenger culture and a commitment to building a purpose-driven business, which I'm honoured and excited to take forward.”

Callander would bring two decades of industry expertise to the CEO role and will draw on his significant business integration experience, if completion occurs and Orcon and 2degrees are combined in the months ahead. 

During Callander’s career, he has developed some of the leading challenger brands in the NZ market, including Slingshot and Orcon, and driven growth across all market segments. In addition, he has successfully integrated several businesses including Vocus NZ, Woosh, Stuff Fibre and power company Switch Utilities into the group.  

Current 2degrees CEO, Mark Aue, who has successfully led 2degrees for almost four years, will remain with the business until completion of the transaction and will play an active role in planning the integration of the two telcos.

An accomplished business leader, Aue has driven the accelerated growth of the 2degrees business. Aue has also been instrumental transforming 2degrees’ world class network, with 5G due to go live across major city centres this quarter. During his time as CEO, 2degrees has received accolades for award-winning customer service and has brought more competition to regional New Zealand through its mobile network which now reaches 98.5% of the places Kiwis live and work.

Aue says, “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the past four years. 2degrees is a purpose-driven organisation and our people are passionate about delivering quality products, service, and support to Kiwis. 2degrees has completely changed the New Zealand industry since launching in 2009 and I am certain will continue to do so.”

Customer engagement and communication will remain a key priority for both companies as they continue business as usual pending completion.

The transaction remains subject to satisfaction of conditions, including regulatory clearances and approvals.  Until the transaction completes, all brands remain in market and it continues to be business as usual for both companies and their customers.

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