Former M2 CEO appointed Vocus chairperson

M2 founder Vaughan Bowen replaces David Spence

Vaughan Bowen has been appointed non-executive chairperson of Vocus in the wake of David Spence’s decision to not stand for re-election.

Bowen has been an executive director of Vocus since it merged with M2 in February 2016.  Bowen founded M2 and served as managing director and CEO until 2011.

Vocus also revealed that Robert Mansfield has been appointed deputy chairperson, replacing Craig Farrow. Farrow remains a non-executive director. Mansfield is a former chairperson of Telstra as well as the founding CEO of Optus and a former CEO of McDonald’s Australia.

“The board believes that given the critical stage of the company in its transformation program, the absolute priority in terms of appointing a new chairman was to ensure that the positive momentum the company is now experiencing be maintained,” Farrow said in a statement.

“Mr Bowens’ appointment brings continuity to that momentum, together with deep knowledge of the business and an established, effective engagement with executive leadership and key stakeholders. Furthermore, the appointment of Mr Mansfield as deputy chairman provides Vocus with combined board leadership of the highest order, in terms of industry experience and company knowledge.”

Bowen said that Spence had “stewarded Vocus from a start-up through to its current place as a large scale, diversified player in the Australian and New Zealand telecommunications sectors.”

“David's commitment to stabilising the company following a significant period of change over the last eighteen months is of particular note and on behalf of the board, I sincerely thank him for his service over the last seven years,” Bowen said.

In August, Vocus reported a $1.5 billion loss for the 12 months to 30 June, compared to a $64 million profit for FY16.

Last month law firm Slater and Gordon announced it is investigating a potential class action against Vocus on behalf of shareholders. The firm said that Vocus shareholders may have a claim against the Vocus in relation to an FY17 profit downgrade.

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