May 20, 2018 / 11:16 PM / in a month

UPDATE 1-Australia's Vocus Group names Kevin Russell as CEO

(Adds background on previous CEO, company background)

May 21 (Reuters) - Australian phone company Vocus Group on Monday appointed Kevin Russell as its group managing director & chief executive officer.

Russell’s appointment comes nearly three months after the previous chief executive, Geoff Horth, stepped down in February after the company cut its full-year 2018 guidance.

Russell has served in roles including Group Executive, Retail, at Telstra Corp and Singtel Optus’ Country Chief Officer & CEO, Consumer for Australia.

He take up his new position on May 28. Vocus New Zealand Chief Executive Mark Callander will join Vocus Group’s board as an executive director on the same date, the company said.

Vocus, which is undergoing a turnaround phase and has been struggling to manage its debt load, ended talks last month for the sale of its New Zealand business, choosing to retain it.

It said at the time that it had continued to progress on plans to refinance its debt and was looking to complete the refinancing by the end of the current fiscal year. (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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