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The Australian Government has named former Alcatel-Lucent senior executive Mike Quigley as the executive chairman of the company set up to deliver the National Broadband Network (NBNCo), describing him as "an Australian executive who has reached the top of their profession globally, and is now able to bring the benefit of that experience home."

His chairmanship however is likely to be short-lived. The Government said it was continuing the process to appoint other directors and expected to make further announcements shortly. One of these is likely to become non-executive chairman with Quigley continuing as managing director and chief executive officer.

Quigley had a 36 year career with Alcatel. He joined the company in 1977 and rose to become Alcatel's president and COO. His ascension to the CEO role to succeed retiring CEO, Serge Tchuruk, was derailed when Alcatel merged with Lucent and the top job of the merged entity went to Lucent CEO, Pat Russo.

Quigley was to have taken on the COO role in the merged entity but before the deal was consummated announced that for "personal reasons" he would not do so. Instead he took on the role of president, science technology and strategy but left several months later to return on Australia, in August 2007.

When Russo was ousted in September 2008 Quigley was rumoured to replace her, but the job went to former BT boss Ben Verwaayen.

Quigley then resurfaced in Australia in January this year when he was appointed a director of NICTA spin-out company Audinate. According to its web site, its "pioneering Dante technology uses ethernet and Internet protocol standards to make digital audio networking easy, intuitive, cost-effective and error-free with no need for any specialised knowledge."

Announcing his appointment the Government said "During the course of his career, Mr Quigley has led the development and integration of large scale FTTP and FTTN implementations for some of the largest US carriers...He has had to make the difficult decisions. During his career, Mike has managed the acquisition of numerous technology assets and knows how to value such assets from both a technical and financial perspective. He also has extensive experience in regulatory issues and telecommunications standards setting."

He will commence his role immediately and be actively involved in the NBN Implementation Study.

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