The Vocus Board of Directors draw on the wealth of business and technical industry background between them, to oversee the direction and management of the company.

(Click on each photo to read their profiles.)

David Spence

David Spence

Chairman

Having been involved in over twenty Internet businesses – as Chairman, CEO, director, shareholder or advisor – David Spence is well known in the Internet and communications industry, both in Australia and New Zealand.

No stranger to industry disruption and innovation, David cites one of his proudest career achievements as starting Unwired – the first wireless broadband company in Australia, which went on to service more than 70,000 customers.

From 1995 until 2000, David held various positions with OzEmail, including Managing Director and CEO. Listing OzEmail on the NASDAQ was a major moment for him and his team. The ASX had previously pushed back against the company, so he and his colleagues used their own credit cards to get themselves over the line. He continued to stick to his convictions, even when bankers less prescient than him insisted that the Internet would be a flop.

David believes that the Vocus values -- and the pride that the people of Vocus take in them -- are what define the company and set it apart from other organisations.

David enjoys soft adventuring away from the office, and also runs a company called Terratach, which offers mentoring and assistance for small business and start-ups in the tech industry. Additionally, David chairs the board of PayPal Australia.

Craig Farrow

Craig Farrow

Deputy Chairman

Craig’s leadership and financial acuity is well-documented and recognised. In 2012 Craig was President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and in 2013, he was Executive Chair of the CAANZ amalgamation project for ICAA and NZICA. Formerly National Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountant's Public Practice Advisory Committee, Craig is also highly awarded, including being a Fellow of the Governor's Leadership Foundation and receiving the Institute of Chartered Accountants 1999 National President's Award for services to the Institute and the profession.

Craig joined the Vocus Board with pleasure through the Company’s merger with M2 Group Ltd. Craig is Chairman of Brentnalls SA, Chartered Accountants and former National Chairman of the Brentnalls National Affiliation of Accounting firms. He is also Chairman of AIRR Holdings Limited and Tonkin Consulting Engineers. In addition, Craig is a director or board adviser to several consulting and trading enterprises across the agribusiness, software and manufacturing sectors.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Adelaide together with a Diploma of Financial Services and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants ANZ and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Beyond numbers, Craig’s time is focussed on his family, tennis, technology and the state of agriculture in Australia.

James Spenceley

James Spenceley

Executive Director

James Spenceley is the founder of Vocus. As the company’s leading straightshooter, James has steered Vocus through exponential growth in a business environment that is going through seismic change.

In 2009, Vocus was Australia's fastest-growing technology company, which led to James winning the prestigious Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Rising Star award. Vocus continued its growth trajectory, becoming the fastest growing company in the 2010 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 after posting revenue growth of an astounding 11,306% over three years. Today, Vocus is a member of the ASX200 with a market capitalisation of more than AU$1.4b--a staggering achievement for a start-up that James originally funded through refinancing his home mortgage in 2008.

James is the archetypal maverick. Never afraid to challenge the industry, he’s won the trust and respect of the business and financial community with his open, transparent and refreshingly straightforward approach to business dealings.

James is a genuine industry innovator because he believes in the critical importance of the network and its role in transforming business. This transformation is experienced in the technology, but also in the relationships people and businesses need to have with their telecommunications providers. He’s a popular speaker at industry events around the Asia Pacific region and is a passionate advocate for ‘doing everything better.’

He’s been an active member of the communications community for over 18 years. While at COMindico, which later became Soul, James designed and deployed the largest converged voice and data network in Australia. James is an elected member of the APNIC Executive Council, a founding director of AusNOG, and for many years has successfully sourced and deployed switches to non-profit Internet exchanges around the world.

Vaughan Bowen

Vaughan Bowen

Executive Director

In late 1999 a 27 year old Vaughan Bowen co-founded M2 Group Ltd.  He successfully steered M2 from a start-up technology enterprise to a fast-growing and profitable national telecommunications company. 

Vaughan transitioned from the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer role into the role of Executive Director in October 2011, focussed on merger and acquisition opportunities and completed three transformational acquisitions before M2’s merger with Vocus in February 2016.

Vaughan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (UNSW), is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, was named as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year Southern Region in 2004 and 2009 and in 2012 was awarded ACOMMS Communications Ambassador for outstanding contributions to the telecommunications industry. 

Vaughan is passionately dedicated to charitable endeavours. He is Chairman of the Telco Together Foundation (telcotogether.org.au), a charitable foundation uniting the telecommunications industry in a common goal to help Australian communities in need, which he created and seeded in 2011.

Vaughan's innovative approach to targeted branding, sales, alliance marketing and his proven ability to successfully execute complementary acquisitions provided M2 with a considerable competitive advantage and a respected position in the telecommunications industry.

While consolidating the telecommunications sector and changing the face of charitable giving in Australia, Vaughan is also devoted to his family, travel, running half marathons and is a keen observer of Australian and U.S politics.

Tony Grist

Tony Grist

Non-Executive Director

Despite an illustrious career full of big corporate wins, Tony says his proudest accomplishment to date was finally bringing Vocus and Amcom together — against all odds. His leadership role at Amcom and his past experience in the Australian market primed him to champion the hard-fought deal and continue to challenge the industry as Deputy Chairman of the Vocus board.

Already the founder of Perth-based private investment group Albion Capital Partners, Tony formed what became Amcom Telecommunications Ltd. in 1999 to acquire and finance the then start-up telco, Amcom Pty Ltd. While at Amcom in 2006, he earned his spot on the iiNet board after bucking the fears of institutional investors and buying 19.9 percent of the company’s shares from a spooked market in a single trading day. He went on to help shareholders earn a ten-fold increase in their investment in the years that followed, before divesting in iiNet and leaving its board in 2011.

Tony loves to study and learn from the business and financial models of today’s most revolutionary Internet-driven companies and is excited to provide the vital platform that allows them to re-invent their own industries. But he doesn’t need his models to be excited about the future of Vocus. He sees promise in ability to control its own destiny through the ownership of its own network infrastructure, as well as in the company’s ongoing focus on its enterprise and business customers.

Tony likes to spend as much time as possible with his children. He also plays guitar badly, surfs and pursues a few passion projects that help the disadvantaged.

Jon Brett

Jon Brett

Non-Executive Director

Jon is on the Vocus board because he strongly believes that Vocus does everything—from leadership to customer service—better. In 2011 he backed Vocus CEO James Spenceley’s purchase of Digital River – a metro fibre Ethernet business – despite industry scepticism and some direct warning signs about the validity of the acquisition. Like so many on the Vocus board, Jon followed his instincts, stood firm and saw the deal deliver a very successful outcome.

With experience in management, operations, finance and corporate advisory, Jon’s background includes several years as managing director of publicly listed companies, including a term as non-executive deputy president of the NRMA.

Today, Jon is on the board of several unlisted companies and is a director of Investec Wentworth Private Equity (IWPE). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Accounting, Masters Degree in Commerce and is also a Chartered Accountant (SA). In his spare time, Jon enjoys time with his family, playing golf, and keeping fit.

Michael Simmons

Michael Simmons

Non-Executive Director

Michael was thrilled to join the Vocus Board through the merger with M2 Group Ltd in 2016, bringing considerable experience in the telecommunications sector, having previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer of ASX-listed SP Telemedia Limited (SPT and now known as TPG Telecom Limited) group since its listing in 2001. Prior to listing the SPT Group was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Washington H.Soul Pattinson Limited controlled NBN Television Group. Michael served in executive roles for nearly 26 years within the SPT/NBN Group of Companies, including as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer. During 2009 following the acquisition of TPG Telecom Pty Ltd Michael left the SPT Group to become the Managing Director of TERRiA, a telecommunications consortium of infrastructure based telecommunications carriers formed to bid for the contract to build the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Michael joined the M2 Group Board in 2009 and has had enormous satisfaction since then in being a part of the great M2 success story culminating in the merger with Vocus.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Newcastle University. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Michael’s spare time is dedicated to his family, spending time on the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast of Australia and keeping an eye through investment and directorship on the rapidly advancing and converging world of technology and media.

Rhoda Phillippo

Rhoda Phillippo

Non-Executive Director

Rhoda was delighted to be appointed to the Vocus Board when M2 Group Ltd and Vocus merged in February 2016, believing the merger of the two companies to be the creation of a powerful force in the trans-tasman telecommunications market. Rhoda is a globally experienced executive with more than 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications and IT sectors, including time with British Telecom PLC, Telecom/Gen-i (now Spark) and M2 Group Ltd. Rhoda also has experience in the energy sector with Shell in New Zealand (now Z Energy) and Infratil Energy Australia (Lumo Energy).

Rhoda holds an MSc in Telecommunications Engineering and Business Management from University College London, where she was awarded the Founders Prize for best academic dissertation and the Masters Challenge Prize for leadership.

Rhoda’s previous roles include Chief Operating Officer of HRL Morrison & Co, a boutique infrastructure investment company. She is currently Executive Chair of Vix Technology, Chair of Snapper Services Ltd and a non-Executive director on the Board of Vix Investments and LINQ (a technology start up in New Zealand). She has recently been appointed to the Board of Kiwibank and is an Alternate Director for the Future Fund’s investment in Perth Airport.

Rhoda’s passions span the UK and Australia with her three sons and granddaughter, running marathons (35 so far), ironman triathlons (3 so far), and transformational technology.