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Former head of Telstra Ziggy Switkowski is likely to become the new head of NBN Co.

Malcolm Turnbull has always been a man in a hurry. Before all the votes in the election have been counted, before he has been sworn in as Communications Minister, he has tapped Ziggy Switkowski, the respected former head of Telstra, to become the new head of NBN Co, He may be CEO, or he could be Executive Charirman, combining both CEO and Chairman roles.

CEO MIke Quigley resigned in July, and all has been on hold during the election campaign. Not any more.

Turnbull has not confirmed the speculaton about Switkowski's return to the telco world – but nor has he denied it. Switkowski himself has said nothing and will not. Turnbull has long been known to favour him for the position, more for his technical skills as for his Liberal Party connections.

ABC News Radio has reported his imminent appointment, and Turnbull’s reaction to the widely reported speculation. “He's obviously highly qualified and I think most people would regard him as an eminently suitable person," he told ABC News.

"But no decision has been taken by a Coalition government because we haven't even been sworn in yet." He also repeated his continued criticism of the current NBN board.

"While I have no criticism to make of any of the individuals, it is remarkable that there is nobody on that board who has either run or built or been responsible for building or managing a large telecommunications network," he said. "And given that is the core business of NBN Co, that is a singular deficiency."

So expect wholesale changes, starting with Chair Siobhan McKenna, who Turnbull has indeed previously singled out as lacking experience.

Things will happen very quickly once the new Government is sworn in. Prime Minister Abbott (get used to it) has signalled he will waste no time implementing what he claims is his mandate.

Nor will Malcolm Turnbull.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.






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