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Telstra shuffles the deck

Telstra has announced a major reorganisation of its senior management, and a ‘refined long term strategy’.

Telstra CEO David Thodey has moved around his management team so that they are ‘better aligned to growth opportunities in Australia and overseas.” He said the changes will ensure Telstra focusses on the critical areas of customer service excellence, core revenue and growth.”

Speaking at a Telstra investor day in Sydney, Thodey particularly stressed the importance of growth in the Asian region. “We must serve our global customers on an international scale, leveraging our expertise into Asia and other regions, while seeking to deliver outstanding customer service every day in every home, street and business around Australia.

“This strategy provides greater organisational clarity around our growth portfolios. New businesses such as global applications and platforms, cloud solutions and e-health were not opportunities three years ago and can play important roles as we head towards 2020 and beyond.”

The investor day reviewed Telstra’s performance in key growth areas such as Network Applications and Services (NAS – the fastest growing area), mobile network expansion, digital media and global applications and ventures.

Brendon Riley (formerly Chief Operations Officer) becomes Group Executive of Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, a new $5 billion revenue business unit operating as a “global scale, industry-based services and solutions business.” His responsibilities will include NAS worldwide, Global applications and platforms, a new cloud division, Telstra Ventures, Telstra Enterprise, and the company’s Government and Defence business.

“The unit reflects rapid growth in key portfolio areas and the global market in which these services are provided,” said Thodey.

Riley is replaced as COO by Kate McKenzie, who is also Chief Technology Officer, to “better integrate technology development and implementation.” Thodey said the function’s leadership was reorganised in an operational review earlier this year. She will be responsible for the fixed and mobile networks.

Gordon Ballantyne becomes Retail Group Executive, bringing together Telstra Consumer and Telstra Business products, NBN product, sales and marketing, Telstra Country Wide and the Chief Marketing Office. He will also have responsibility for growth through the new e-health division. He will have key aspects of customer sales and service and the innovation, products and marketing portfolios.

Chief Financial Officer Andrew Penn will work with Thodey and Telstra’s International Group President Tim Chen to “enhance Telstra’s Asia strategy.” Group Executive Corporate Affairs Tony Warren will again lead Telstra’s negotiations with the Federal Government on the NBN. All changes are effective from next Monday 28 October.

Other CEO leadership team members reporting to Thodey remain unchanged: Rick Ellis, Group Executive Telstra Media Group; Tracey Gavegan, Group Executive Human Resources; Stuart Lee, Group Executive Telstra Wholesale; Carmel Mulhern, Group General Counsel; and Robert Nason, Group Executive Business Support and Improvement.

“These changes make sense because they reflect our business needs and the exciting and rapidly moving environment around us,” Thodey said. “Structure follows strategy, so we have asked some of our most senior leaders to take on new or expanded opportunities to ensure we deliver on these promises. Each executive has considerable experience inside the industry as well as other industry sectors or global markets.”


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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.