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Paul Reynolds takes the money and runs

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, July 4th, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

$20 million. That’s how much Paul Reynolds pocketed during his disastrous 5 years as CEO of Telecom. You could have employed dozens of teachers and nurses over that period for that money. Instead, it all went to one man as the company he headed went down the toilet. What a broken system capitalism is. The kicker: the $1.75m goodbye gift, on which he got a $100,000 tax cut. Nice.

41 comments on “Paul Reynolds takes the money and runs ”

  1. mike e 1

    Capitalism and Crony-ism are inseparable under this Govt.

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    And after a six month extended break to recharge the corporate batteries, he will re-appear at his next corporate assignment earning twice as much.

  3. Jim in Tokyo 3

    Actually he ‘earned’ this money by effectively greasing the back-room machinations which ultimately saw the National government directly transfer $929m of taxpayer money to Chorus in a blatant end-around which made a bit of a mockery of the Government’s much vaunted ‘tender’ process.


    • MrSmith 3.1

      Totally agree Jim, his tenure will be remembered as re-establishing telecom as the monopoly they once were, with the help of tax payers money and steven joyce, monopoly high speed internet coming to a town near you, profits going to Nationals mates.

  4. When Labour sold off Telecom I bought shares in the private company.
    At the time of sale it took three weeks to get a phone changed.
    As a part owner in the company I am satisfied with the progress and dividend that Telecom have provided, and the CEO’s remuneration

    • quartz 4.1

      As a part owner

      Lolz. Look at the big wheeler dealer.

    • DH 4.2

      “At the time of sale it took three weeks to get a phone changed.”

      Utterly false and a very common bad memory from pundits of asset sales. Connection times were down to days, often same day, when Telecom was sold and they did not improve noticeably after the sale.

      • Rob 4.2.1

        The ‘service’ that was provided by the old Govt owned Telecom was terrible.  Completely reactive, demeaning and bullying.  Faults calls were treated with derision and ‘customers’ were made to feel like idiots.

        This is exactly the behaviour that gets entrenched in a non-audited, fully protected, un-measured, lazy environment. 

        • DH

          Yet another with a bad memory. Telecom was a brand new company created as an SOE in 1987 and sold in 1990. When it was set up as a standalone telecommunications company the Govt set targets it had to meet, notable of which was connection times. They used to print regular reports on Telecom’s performance in the media and it is a fact that connection times were vastly reduced after it was made into an SOE. Service levels did not improve significantly after it was sold.

          It’s also well known that the new digital exchanges had the biggest influence on connection times and they were installed when Telecom was owned by the Govt.

          • Draco T Bastard

            …and it is a fact that connection times were vastly reduced after it was made into an SOE.

            There was some minor reorganisation but those connection times would have come down no matter what. The change from the old analogue to digital exchanges (started in the 1980s) would have seen to that.

            What Rob and Fortran fail to realise is that if we’d kept Telecom as a state service the services supplied would a) be cheaper now that what they are, b) we’d most likely have fibre to the cabinets already (again, started installing that in the 1980s, the private owners started taking it out and replacing with copper in the 2000s), and c) we wouldn’t now have to be paying billions extra in taxpayer $$$ to get that fibre to the home installed.

            The sale of Telecom is the perfect example of the dead weight loss of profit – and Fortran is one of the bludgers hanging around our neck.

            • Richard Christie

              Yep, most service improvements were due to the new digital exchange conversion, well underway before it became a SOE.
              Richard Preeble was probably the loudest of the liars stating improvements were due privatisation etc.

              • DH

                Hearing the old trope about slow connection times & bad service must be infuriating to those who worked for Telecom & its predecessor in the ’80s. It’s such a blatant falsehood that’s often trotted out by people in favour of privatisation, ever trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

      • McFlock 4.2.2

        didn’t the NZ govt invest millions of dollars into telecom upgrades just prior to the sale (dim memory – was in school at the time)?
        Oh,  and the three week thing is down from the six months that was prebble’s wet dream 15 or 20 years ago. Nice to see a tory catechism of faith become a pale shadow of its former self.
        One of these days the tory mind might even acknowledge reality – but then they wouldn’t be tories…

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          “…but then they wouldn’t be tories…”

          Sad but true. lol

          • Rob

            Look,   carry on trying to turn the clock back and reviewing it like an endless summer evening.  But it was shit.  I had mates that worked for them and they even laughed about it.  Just like that other massive dung heap the Ministry of Works. 

            What’s sad but true is that you like it. 

            • DH

              What’s sad is the senile rambling of people who lost about five years of their memory. The old Post Office in the ’70s was a bit of a shocker for service but Telecom as an SOE sure wasn’t. It’s all recorded history, the reports on Telecom’s service levels can be found in newspaper archives.

              • McFlock

                Exactly – when the government ran a post office as a job-sink to keep unemployment low, service levels were down. When the government decided to run NZPost and Telecom as “enterprises”, they did very well.
                Big surprise: when service isn’t as much of a priority as the general social good, service takes a hit. When profit takes a priority, the social good takes a hit. 
                Oh, and two letters to illustrate the service efficiency of the private sector: “XT”. 

                • Rob

                  Telecom has had some shockers , I dont use them at home and at work , but here is a few letters following your theme –  Vodafone, 2 Degress, Orcon and a whole host other service centric competitors.

                  What the change did is finally put the purchaser at the centre of their business.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Wrong, the populace was always at the centre of the business.

                  • McFlock

                    They’ve all had outages, poor service or billing issues. And our rates are all too high for crap service.
                    The change to SOE changed the emphasis of the sector. From a wider social focus to a narrow balance-sheet focus. As you would expect if an efficient command structure goes from saying “consider the wider social costs” to saying “make a profit”.
                    Asset sales served only to put profits in the hands of the already rich, rather than all taxpayers. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Economic infrastructure such as telecoms, banking, power and water need to be publicly owned.

                      Instead of having profits from them taken off our citizens and shipped offshore to enrich foreign shareholders.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I did work for them and we never laughed about it. We got stuck in providing the best service we could with the resources we had. The biggest problem we had was simple physical limitations – you can’t get a phone connected when there isn’t cable to the home.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna

              Dream on Rob. As DH points out, you are either deceitful or deceived, and those are the only two categories of tory.

            • Half Crown Millionare

              “Just like that other massive dung heap the Ministry of Works.”


              You don’t know what you are talking about mate. I suggest you look up the building of the Clyde dam. One almighty fuckup by private contractors aided by, dare I say it, right wing fuckwits again, Muldoon and Bill (carlos days) Birch. . And how the then MOW came to the rescue
              This dam was part of the Think Big Fiasco, another right wing scheme to send New Zealand bankrupt.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Anmd several truckies I know are quite open about the fact that MOW used thicker tar / bitumen on the roads so maintenance was less and roads didn’t cut up as much.

                They get pissed off being blamed for the road damage that occurscause the private contractors thin it down so they have ongoing repair work and continuing profit.

                Desert Road is another example of how it was open much more in winter when MOW had the responsibility – and more cheaply as well.

    • Herodotus 4.3

      You were lucky. In a development I am associated with. Chorus/Telecom signed off that the telecom reticulation HAD taken place 9 months later it was found out that only ducts were installed and that no hardware had ever been installed, even though Telecom had signed off on the work it still took another 3 months for the cables to be installed. Telecoms offer was for free cell phone calls for outward bound calls only, callers still had to pay to call in.

    • mike e 4.4

      Fartrain that was a deliberate ploy by the right wing to undermine Govt ownership..
      Before it was split it took as little as ten minutes in some case to get connected.
      Prices were very reasonable .
      after it was split from the post office $ 2 billion was borrowed to mainly up grade the rural lines network then teelcon was sold for 4 billion .Speculators had a feilday for years after this until their monopoly was broken.
      The first owners gouged prices( monopoly) the second owners gouged then the recent share holders lost buckets because telcon had been a monopoly so long it couldn’t do competition.
      Now Nactional has put them back in a monopoly situation again with HSB.

    • mike e 4.5

      Fatrain I’ve had shares in telecon as well when they were a monopoly how ever my business phone bills cost more than the profits I made out of the shares. Since David Cunliffe has broken the monopoly my ph bills have shrunk to a fraction of what they were.
      But I wisely got rid of my Telcon shares.

  5. captain hook 5

    hey he is a rugged individualist and a risk taker.
    yeah right.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    At least now you can change your subscription to other providers if you don’t like the amount Telecom pays its execs. Couldn’t do that when it was publicly owned.

    • McFlock 6.1

      Big effect that has.

      • Jim in Tokyo 6.1.1

        The problem is, that at least until the demerger in December 2011, with the exception of TelstraClear’s HFC network in Wellington, Christchurch and Kapiti the ‘competition’ has actually mostly just been reselling Telecom Wholesale services for a slim margin. And even if you used a provider who had jumped though the hoops to install their own ADSL+ gear into a (rented) space in a Chorus owned cabinet or exchange, then Telecom Wholesale still owned and charged for the back-haul.

        This situation was supposed to improve with the Chorus demerger, but since Joyce decided to give Chorus 70% of the UFB rollout then we seem to be forever locked into trying to regulate pricing on a monopoly infrastructure provider.

        And lets not forget that after all is said and done, regardless of your provider, all your international data still has to travel over Southern Cross Cable Networks, which while incorporated in Bermuda for tax purposes, is in fact 50% owned by… you guessed it … Telecom.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Actually, it does have an effect – massive increase in costs due to duplication of the bureaucracy and physical plant. Also, we’re now losing more than we were before the mid 1980s reforms due to the dead weight loss of profit also being massively duplicated.

    • felix 6.2

      Meh. I’d prefer a bit of democratic accountability, thanks.

    • mike e 6.3

      Tsm the cost of my phone bills when the govt owned the ph company were a fraction of what they were under private monopoly hands.that was right up til 2007.
      The Silly Monetarist.You may have been able to change companies to Clear only initially but the value and service was not any better. because they had to lease Telecon lines and Telecon being a private Monopoly gouged NZ plenty.
      Thanks to Steven Joyce and Shonkey their at it again by creating a duopoly with UFB we will have to wait for another Labour Govt to break this Duopoly that National have created.

  7. Blue 7

    Who cares what a private company pays its staff. If you’re unhappy, use another provider. Go and make a moral stand.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      And the strongest moral stand is to nationalise the company and get rid of corporate freeloaders.

      Who cares what a private company pays its staff.

      I fucking care. We don’t need this corporate greed in NZ. 91% income tax on all income more than 10x the median wage thanks.

      • mike e 7.1.1

        Corporates are just operating a pyramid scheme eventually scamming all the money and power to the 1% .The small time enablers are the reasonably well off just play along until they slide down the ladder and are ripped off by those they defend.

      • BR 7.1.2

        You can “fucking care” all you like.

        It is none of your business how much a private individual or group of individuals chooses to pay another, or for what reason.

        End of story.


        • mike e

          Bullshit Reasoner.So its all right for Private companies to monopolize the market thats whats happening in the world today and use any under handed trick they can get away with.
          Lie more(LIBOR)
          insider trading pyramid schemes ponzi schemes black mail and bribery and stalking.
          Lehman BrO’s
          Merrill Lynch
          Goldman Sachs
          Morgan Stanley

    • mike e 7.2

      Blue as a former shareholder. Lucky I am no longer one.On Reynolds watch( not the Gold one he received) Shares in Telecon halved in value profits halved in value from this guy who was on 2 and a half times the salary of the previous CEO Plus a very generous share package.
      Telecon’s service has been atrocious Filipino call centres xt outing because of underinvestment.
      I gave them a wide birth because my ph bills were heading up to $700 per month I changed to vodafone my bills went down to $120 a month same usage.
      Telecon has been a disaster for NZ.
      Now Joyce is handing them UFB on a plate.

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