WELLINGTON: Reacting to ongoing criticism about its allegedly amateurish marketing, Telecom New Zealand, the nation's largest listed company, has enlisted Kiwi-born Kevin Roberts (pictured) as a non-executive director.

TNZ chairman Wayne Boyd hypes Roberts (who retains his day job as ceo of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide in New York) as "one of the world's most innovative and influential thinkers about corporate branding, marketing and customer satisfaction." 

But it's possible Roberts' tenure at the telco will be short-lived, in that he must stand for re-election at TNZ's annual meeting on October 2 against two 'new broom' candidates – Mark Tume and Mark Cross – nominated by US hedge fund Elliot International.

Says Roberts: "This is an exciting appointment for me. Telecom is one of New Zealand's most important companies, and its transformation story is a compelling one. It will be a privilege to contribute to the company's governance."

Data sourced from nzherald.co.nz; additional content by WARC staff