Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Exit interview

Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at telecommunications company Spark. Under his rein, the changes the company has gone through are nothing short of radical, with from its name (Telecom to Spark), its operating model (traditional to agile), its culture (problematic to inclusive) and its structure (one monopoly brand to many). Here, Moutter has a candid chat about his journey as CEO, the company's push to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace and how one of his biggest lessons learned was he couldn’t solve a cultural issue with processes and strategy.

Idealog + Wolf and Fox

New year, new me? Sometimes it's hard to carve out healthy habits for ourselves, particularly when it comes to the realm of business, where the work/life balance can get lost. Toss Grumley breaks down the habits of successful people and how they manage their wellbeing.

Cultural preservation

The mighty East Cape Region is an untouched wonder in the North Island. While it represents one of the first regions discovered by Captain Cook, it’s one of the least influenced by the throes of colonisation. Still today, the vast coastline is defined by the heart of its local iwi (Ngāti Porou) and is largely hinged on agriculture, with few alternative avenues of business. The area has a rich heritage: referenced in the famous Māori myth Māui and the sun, and more recently, it was the setting for acclaimed New Zealand films Boy and Whale Rider. Now, a new tourism organisation - Maunga Hikurangi - plans to tell its story in a bid to attract tourists, boost commerce, and invite distant Ngāti Porou back into the community. We chat with creative director Timothy Livingston to discuss the possible tension between tourism growth and cultural preservation on the East Cape.

Future of work

Accenture and Fjord have released Fjord Trends 2019, the 12th annual outlook on the cultural currents that will affect the business, technology and design industries. They have distilled the trends down to seven key ones – silence is gold, the last straw, data minimalism, ahead of the curb, the inclusivity paradox, space odyssey and synthetic realities – which are expected to shape the next years’ experience for companies.

Most Innovative Companies

The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Food and Beverage is Pūhā & Pākehā. For a country so proud of its cultural heritage, there’s a bit of an irony at the heart of New Zealand cuisine: we haven’t capitalised on our roots when it comes to Kiwi fare. “In the New Zealand food business, you have to do something different,” says Jarrad McKay, one half of the team behind Pūhā & Pākehā, the Kiwi fusion eatery currently changing the way New Zealanders think about traditional Kiwi kai. “To really do something different in New Zealand, you have to do New Zealand food!”


Cultural codes are the undercurrent that pulses through everything, from society to business. Partner at TRA Colleen Ryan explains how we can learn from new migrants' experience of our country, and how we can adapt and evolve from their own cultures to further New Zealand's potential.

Design reflects our heritage and identity. So what role does Māoridom play in New Zealand’s design identity? Who is able to do it? What principles need to be abided by? And how does a young country like New Zealand embrace the modern world while retaining its traditions? In part three of a series, we float down the country’s cultural currents with craftsman Carin Wilson and RCG Limited associated director Andy Florkowski and director John Lenihan.

Cultural preservation

Realityvirtual’s Simon Che de Boer recently had a hand in documenting one of the world’s most ancient civilisations in VR. And now, he’s keen to get to work on his passion project: local cultural preservation work of the Christchurch Cathedral. He wants to resurrect the old Cathedral in VR using publicly sourced photography, so is putting out a call to the public to submit any photos or videos they have of the building pre-earthquake, and using deep learning, a company can fill in the missing data and build a VR experience around this.