Ex-Vodafone, ihug and Pacific Fibre executive Mark Rushworth to succeed Simon Tong as Paymark's CEO

Ex-Vodafone, ihug and Pacific Fibre executive Mark Rushworth to succeed Simon Tong as Paymark's CEO

Electronic transaction processor Paymark says Mark Rushworth, the former chief marketing officer at Vodafone, will become its CEO from December 2.

Rushworth was the CEO of ihug prior to its acquisition by Vodafone, and more recently was co-founder and CEO of Pacific Fibre, which unsuccessfully tried to raise $400 million to build a 3,000 kilometre fibre-optic cable connecting New Zealand and Australia to California. He replaces Simon Tong who left Paymark to become Fairfax Media's New Zealand managing director.

In a statement Paymark chairman Sue Sheldon said Paymark was on the cusp of some exciting new opportunities and Rushworth’s appointment was an important one.

“In appointing Mark Rushworth the Board recognises the unique position of Paymark as a provider of essential New Zealand infrastructure with an exciting future. Mark brings a track record, strategic capability and a technology focus to the role,” Sheldon said.

Rushworth himself was quoted as saying he was excited about building on Paymark’s strong foundations and taking advantage of new opportunities, like online and mobile payments, to provide new services to more New Zealanders.

Paymark processes about three quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand. It's jointly owned by ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac.

Meanwhile, Paymark yesterday announced spending through its network rose 8.1% in October versus the same month last year. The firm also said seasonally adjusted month-on-month spending rose 1.7% in October from September, and 2.5% when spending on fuel is excluded.

“This result is a good start for retailers as they begin their pre-Christmas campaigns," Paul Whiston, Paymark acting CEO, said. "We are seeing an above average month-on-month result, which indicates that growth is happening above and beyond the usual trends."

"Double-digit year-on-year growth was seen in hardware stores (+14.8%), liquor outlets (+13%), and cafes and restaurants (+12.8%) during the month of October. In addition, strong growth was reported in footwear stores (+9.3%), appliance stores (+9.2%), takeaway outlets (+9.8%) and accommodation providers (+9.1%)."

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