Tower Insurance’s chief executive Richard Harding plans to resign after five years in the job.

Richard Harding said he would not extend his contract and planned to rejoin his family in Australia, when the contract runs out at the end of 2020.

He said the time was right for him to depart Tower, as the company transitions to offering more services on line, in an effort to cut costs and grow the business.

Harding led the company through four years of bottom-line losses for Tower, before posting an annual profit in the financial year just ended of $16.6 million.

His tenure was dogged by Canterbury earthquake claims and an ongoing battle with the state-owned Earthquake Commission, which was likely to result in legal action.

Tower said it had already begun a local and international search for Harding’s replacement, and would consider promoting from its ranks.

Tower chair Michael Stiassny said it was looking for a chief executive who would continue the transition to a digital-based insurer.

“We have fixed the foundations of the business and will be using digital to challenge the New Zealand market, grow the business and deliver shareholder value, and the new CEO will focus on delivering these benefits.”

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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