Economy

Mark Bouris takes over after TZ Limited chief steps down amid contract disappointment

Patrick Stafford /

Electronic fastenings maker and software developer TZ is in turmoil after chief executive John Wilson stepped down from his post following the company’s failed bid to secure a lucrative new deal, sending shares plummeting 43% yesterday.

High-profile entrepreneur and Yellow Brick Road founder Mark Bouris has now assumed the responsibilities of chief executive, along with his current role of executive chairman, which he has held since 2009.

The company’s shares have since risen 3.2% this morning to 16 cents.

In a statement, Bouris said the company had been unsuccessful in its tender to supply smart parcel lockers to one of the country’s largest logistics operators. That operator is understood to be Australia Post.

While Bouris said in a statement the deal remains confidential, the company announced an agreement with Australia Post last October and Wilson spoke to SmartCompany about the development.

A spokesperson for Mark Bouris told SmartCompany he would not comment further on yesterday’s announcement.

Australia Post is building more parcel lockers so customers can pick up goods outside of delivery times.

TZ announced last year the partnership would be led through its subsidiary, Pitney Bowes Australia. But yesterday the company said its bid for the contract had been unsuccessful.

Bouris said TZ would have “benefited greatly” if the bid had been successful, but the final content and pricing of the submission was “not within the control of TZ”.

The company has been under pressure for some time. In the six months to December 2011, the company’s revenue fell 7.5% to $9.5 million, while it recorded a loss of $12.4 million – up 250% from the previous corresponding period.

The company will now look at a “complete alternative parcel pick-up solution”, putting lockers at homes rather than at post offices.

“TZL has commissioned a study which has found that a significant percentage of the Australian population would prefer the convenience of having their online purchases delivered to their homes,” Bouris said.

“TZL now better understands how the segment operates in the real world,” he said, adding the company has been invited to submit expressions of interest to postal organisations around the world.

A commercial version of the home-based locker will be trialled within the next 30 days. But the business is also set to undergo some changes in that time, with Bouris saying the company expects to cut overheads “at every level, including at senior management”.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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