Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting fluffy and cute with Teresa Gattung


Come back Teresa, all is forgiven, we love you!

That is what I would be saying if I wasn't being realistic about the disastrous job that Teresa Gattung did at the helm of Telecom New Zealand [TEL] .

Teresa, whose expertise is apparently in marketing, milked Telecom of dividends, failed to invest for the future and cost long term Telecom shareholders billions , as the company share price recently plumbed the depths of sub NZ$3.20 .

After all that she has been resurrected like one of those genetically enhanced sheep from the 2007 film "Black Sheep", the girl just wont die.

Appropriate that I make an early sheep joke because now someone has shepherded her back to New Zealand to become chairwoman of The Wool Company, which is undergoing a complete re-branding under the guidance of PGG Wrightson [PGW] chairman Craig Norgate.

Now you might think this post is about sticking it to Gattung again. Well that is where you would be wrong.

While Ms Gattung was the worst possible person to head a communications company, principally because she doesn't communicate well, as a marketer, she is perfect for resurrecting the tired image and fortunes of the New Zealand wool industry.

Wool isn't sexy, it is still being used mainly in lower margin products like carpet and bulk wool, whereas it could be marketed for use in higher margin goods like quality clothing, specialist outdoor gear and other high end product.

Now I could be wrong, she maybe an awful marketer, however, at Telecom, under her wing, she developed some of the best marketing in business at the time.

The high end wool business could be a high value export business if managed and marketed well and you have to give Gattung a couple of years before you can right her off completely.

Lets hope she doesn't try to pull the wool over her customers eyes, as she did at Telecom.

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c Share Investor 2008