Spark names Stephen Ponsford CEO of AI biz Qrious

NZ telco Spark has officially confirmed Stephen Ponsford as chief executive for its data, analytics, and AI business, Qrious. 

Ponsford took up the role of acting CEO after former CEO Nathalie Morris departed the company in October last year.

He joined the company at the end of 2017 as technology director and was promoted to chief technology officer after two years.

Prior to joining Qrious, Ponsford spend more than three and a half years as vCTO for NZ cloud service provider Revera, now part of Spark-owned CCL, and also spent time working as a technical consultant for Fujitsu.

“I’m incredibly proud to lead an organisation that is truly purpose-led and value-driven. An organisation that is already associated with many projects of national significance, helping to improve domestic outcomes in the private and public sectors,” said Ponsford. 

“The world of data, analytics and AI is playing an increasingly significant role in modern life, offering unprecedented opportunities for human development and innovation. Organisations are placing greater value on opportunities arising from these technologies and we can’t wait to help NZ organisations on their journey.”

Qrious, part of the Spark Business Group, creates and provides products and services for digital transformation, focused on data, analytics and AI, and is investing in building local AI and data analytics skills and capability, the company said in a statement.

On the appointment, Spark marketing director Matt Bain said, “Stephen is dedicated to transforming Kiwi businesses through the application of data analytics and AI, and we are excited to see how he will take Qrious to the next level after almost 10 years in the business. 

“We have an opportunity to accelerate towards a vibrant and inclusive digital economy driven by data intelligence and AI technologies. Stephen brings a wealth of experience and credentials to the role and will undoubtedly help unlock the value and potential of Qrious’ offering for New Zealand business,” he added.

CRN NZ is set to launch in the coming weeks. Contact NZ bureau chief Ben Moore for more information. 

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