March 31, 2013
2Degrees chief "got Māori"
Mobile phone company 2Degrees is reeling after the deaths of its Chief Executive Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy in a plane crash.
Mr Hertz’s twin engine Beechcraft plunged into the sea south of Raglan on Saturday.
2Degrees uses 3G spectrum allocated to Māori. Its shareholders include Te Huarahi Tika Māori Spectrum Trust through its Hautaki subsidiary and two central North Island land incorporations.
Hautaki Chair Mavis Mullins says it’s a devastating blow.
She says the American made a big impact on the company, and he understood Māori aspirations for it.
The Hautaki-appointed directors, Bill Osborne and Antony Royal, are working with the rest of the 2Degrees board on the next step for the business.
During his four years with the company Mr Hertz oversaw the building of a half billion dollar mobile phone network.
Its entry in the market is credited with introducing real competition and creating savings for consumers, although the company has yet to show a profit.
He had more than 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry, including senior roles at US firms AT&T Wireless, Bellsouth, MCCaw Wireless and Western Wireless.
It was at Western that he worked with John Stanton, the founder of Trilogy International, which owns 60 percent of 2 Degrees.
Copyright © 2013, Uma Broadcasting Ltd