Holdsworth hands over Datacom reins

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012

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Datacom's majority owner, John Holdsworth, will step down as chairman of the big Kiwi firm in March after 24 years at the helm.

Holdsworth has turned Datacom into one of Australasia's largest private companies, with more than 4000 staff and revenues of $788 million - 52.5 per cent of that earned in Australia and Asia. 

Aside from the Holdsworth family, Datacom's other major shareholder is New Zealand Post, which has a 35 per cent stake.

Holdsworth is believed to be in his 70s. He said in a statement that he would remain on Datacom's board but intended to pursue his many other interests. He was not available for interviews. Staff were told of the changes late yesterday.

Some competitors have been privately speculating for several years about what would happen when Holdsworth chose to stand down.

Craig Boyce, a former chief executive of Smith City and the current chairman of Smiths City and electricity lines company Orion, would succeed Holdsworth as chairman, the company said.

Boyce has been on Datacom's board for 12 years.

John Holdsworth's son, Simon, 40, who has been on the board since 2006, will become deputy chairman.

Industry insiders said Simon Holdsworth, like his father, was a relatively private person but also something of an unknown quantity in the industry. He is chief executive of Evander Management, the Holdsworth family's investment company.

John Holdsworth said he was pleased to have someone of Boyce's calibre to guide Datacom.

Researcher IDC estimates Datacom has captured 10 per cent of the $1.7 billion New Zealand information technology services market.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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