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Spark New Zealand announces new Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Relations Director to Leadership Squad

Spark New Zealand announced today Stefan Knight will become Chief Financial Officer, effective 1 March 2020. Mr Knight will succeed David Chalmers who after three years is leaving to return home with his family to Melbourne, Australia.


Currently Finance Lead Partner, Mr Knight has been with Spark since 2003 and has worked across a range of finance- and business performance-related roles. He played a key role over recent years in important Spark initiatives, including the Turnaround and Quantum business improvement programmes and, more recently, was part of the leadership group that helped shape the organisation’s move to an Agile way of working. “Stefan brings an exemplary breadth and depth of experience to the CFO role, has delivered outstanding commercial, customer and cultural results and proved himself as a strong internal successor,” said Spark’s Chief Executive Jolie Hodson.


Ms Hodson recognised Mr Chalmers’ strong contribution since he joined Spark in October 2016: “David’s commercial acumen and extensive business experience have seen him successfully lead several strategic business initiatives over the last three years, especially our evolving media strategy which has successfully established Spark Sport as a major new player in New Zealand’s sports media landscape.”


Spark also announced today that Ms Leela Gantman will take on the role of Corporate Relations Director in January 2020, succeeding Andrew Pirie who, as was announced in August, is leaving his leadership role at Spark at the end of 2019.


Ms Gantman is a highly-experienced corporate communications professional with over 18 years experience in corporate and agency roles in New Zealand and Australia. She has been head of communications at Fletcher Building since April 2017, and prior to this was external relations director at beverages group Lion in Australia. “Leela will join my Leadership Squad and brings to Spark her outstanding experience across reputation strategy, sustainability, community and government engagement. She is passionate about Spark’s purpose and is keen to help articulate the significant role we play for so many New Zealanders,” Ms Hodson commented.


Effective 1 March 2020, the Spark Leadership Squad will be as follows:

  • Chief Executive Jolie Hodson
  • Corporate Relations Director Leela Gantman
  • Customer Director Grant McBeath
  • Finance Director (CFO) Stefan Knight
  • General Counsel Melissa Anastasiou
  • Human Resources Director Heather Polglase
  • Marketing Director Matt Bain
  • Product Director Tessa Tierney
  • Technology Director Mark Beder

Andrew Pirie

Corporate Relations Lead
+64 27 555 0275|

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