Telecom kicked off an exciting week in technology this week with the announcement early on Monday morning that former chief operating officer Simon Moutter would be returning to the company in September to replace Paul Reynolds as CEO.
Moutter departed the company in 2008, having been part of the executive team working under Theresa Gattung. He’s spent the last few years as CEO of Auckland International Airport, so is used to working in a field that’s experiencing tougher times after once practically holding a license to print money.
Speaking of money, Telecom also revealed that Moutter’s base salary will be $1.35 million, along with millions more in potential cash and stock bonuses if he meets his performance targets. It’s a hefty sum, but as our columnist Simon Hendery noted in his to-do list for the new boss, Telecom faces some serious challenges, and it will take some equally serious CEO-ing to balance escalating costs while finding new opportunities following the company’s recent Chorus-ectomy.
While we’re on Telecom, the telco ended the week on a high note as well, announcing that the data cap boost introduced on its Total Home Lite plan on April 1 will be extended across (nearly) its entire range of broadband plans.
In most cases the caps will double for the same amount of money, which is great, although in cases like this you can’t help but wonder why they had to be so tight in the first place.
In other news, Samsung spent all of Tuesday showing off its new range of Smart TVs, particularly the top models which are fitted with motion and voice recognition features, freeing the user from the encumbrance of a remote control.
Although of course not as accurate as pushing a button, with a little practice both voice and motion seemed effective ways to perform basic functions like changing the channel and turning the TV on and off. I can’t say how well it’ll translate to the average living room, but with four controllers currently in my own I’d welcome the chance to let one slip behind the couch.
Overseas, the release of Windows 8 came one step closer this week with Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky announcing that a ‘release preview’ version will be made available in the first week of June. The release preview is typically the last version before an official launch, but judging by the time frame of previous releases it could still be months before Windows 8 goes public.
The folks at Apple released their quarterly results on Wednesday, and while we weren’t around to cover it at the time because of Anzac day, the numbers were, predictably, impressive. 35.1 million iPhones were sold in the quarter, along with 11.8 million iPads and 4 million Macs. Apple’s cash reserves have now reached US$110.2 billion, and the company’s share price has bounced back from a period of relative weakness to sit well above US$600.
Indeed, a report this week indicated that thieves may be targeting stores selling Apple goods, with two Auckland Yoobee stores experiencing armed robberies in the last two months.
That’s been the big news this week - we’ll be back for more on Monday.