Former Optus chief executive Bob Mansfield is taking charge at Vocus

Bob Mansfield when he was chair at Telstra in 2001. Picture: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Bob Mansfield, a former chair at Telstra and the founding CEO at Optus, has become the independent chairman of the troubled telco Vocus.

His appointment comes after the announcement last week of the departure of CEO, Geoff Horth, the founder of M2 Group which merged with Vocus in 2016.

A short time ago, Vocus shares were up 3% to $2.33.

The owner of Dodo, iPrimus and Orcon brands has been on a rapid growth journey via mergers and acquisitions but the integration of new businesses has taken longer than expected.

In the six months to December, net profit after tax was down 21% to $37.3 million and the company decided not to pay an interim dividend.

Outgoing chair Vaughan Bowen says he believes the board’s key strategic priority of board member renewal and the search for a new CEO would be best served by the appointment of an independent chairman. Bowen is stepping down from the board.

Craig Farrow, a founding director of M2, who had previously indicated an intention not to stand for re-election at the next Vocus annual general meeting, has also resigned.

Mansfield said: “Vaughan has been a remarkable figure within our company and the sector more broadly, initially as founding CEO of M2 Group, then as Executive Director at both M2 and Vocus and most recently as Vocus Chairman.”

Mansfield has been a member of the Vocus board since January 2017.

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