He replied: "Well look I think what I've seen over the years is that there have been a lot of people in Telstra in the past whose main skill has been getting money out of governments. They've done that very well but their history would also show that in doing that they have not done the company any good at all and not done a lot of good for the customers."
He should explain exactly what government money he is referring to, and clarify whether this remark is directed at Campbell or if he is simply hoping to make Campbell guilty by association with this vague statement.
Because if indeed these remarks refer to Campbell, McGauchie, or Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo should tell shareholders why Trujillo, on Campbell's retirement from Telstra in December 2005, sent an email to all Telstra employees, and to the ASX, lauding Campbell's achievements in a career with Telstra and its predecessor spanning almost two decades.
"Doug is perhaps best known...for his leadership of Telstra Country Wide since 2000," Trujillo said. "Doug not only built a commercially successful business serving our valued customers in rural and regional Australia, but he also built durable and long-standing alliances with regional communities and organisations across Australia."
He continued: "In addition to his business unit responsibilities, Doug has been a valued member of the Telstra leadership group for many years. Doug has shaped the business over many years, and continued to play an influential role this year as part of our strategic review. His contribution to the leadership group will be greatly missed."
And finally Trujillo valued Campbell's expertise so highly he kept him on in an advisory role: "Given his broad and deep knowledge of the business, I am very pleased to announce that Doug has accepted my invitation to continue his long association with Telstra. Doug has agreed to serve in the role of Executive Advisor to the CEO.
"This job will include, but not be limited to, special responsibility for developing our business in rural Australia, representing Telstra's interests to rural constituencies, and assisting us as rural customers upgrade their mobile phone services from CDMA to 3G. In addition, Doug has agreed to serve on the Telstra Country Wide Advisory Board. I look forward to Doug's continuing contribution to Telstra in his new capacity."
Shareholders might well be justified in asking why Trujillo appointed as an advisor someone who had, according to McGauchie, "not done the company any good at all and not done a lot of good for the customers."