Monday, 05 December 2016 17:24

Telstra appoints former Juniper exec Robyn Denholm as next COO Featured

Robyn Denholm to join Telstra as COO Robyn Denholm to join Telstra as COO

Telstra has appointed international technology executive, Tesla board member and former Juniper Networks executive Robyn Denholm as its chief operations officer.

The Australian-born Denholm replaces high-profile executive Kate McKenzie who left the telco earlier this year in the wake of a series of network outages which plagued the company over several weeks.

Denholm, who will take up the role early in 2017, joins Telstra after nine years with Juniper, most recently as executive vice-president, chief financial officer and chief operations officer.

Denholm joined Juniper after 11 years with Sun Microsystems, most recently as senior vice-president of corporate strategic planning. She also held roles with Sun in Australia and the United States, and previously worked for Toyota and Arthur Andersen in Australia.

As well as her role on the board of electric car company Tesla, Denholm is also a board member of the Swiss robotics, power and automation technology company ABB.

With Denholm’s appointment, Telstra’s acting COO Brendon Riley will return to his role as group executive global enterprise and services, and acting GES Group executive David Burns will return as group managing director network applications and services.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said Telstra had made a “world class appointment” with Denholm to oversee the next generation development of the company’s operational environment.

The appointment follows Penn’s announcement in August that Telstra would invest up to an extra $3 billion over three years, taking total capital expenditure to about $15 billion, largely in the operational and networks space.

“Robyn has a proven track record as a global COO in a business focused on telecommunications networks. She has overseen business model transformation, supply chain and broader business process re-engineering,” Penn said.

“She has been a senior executive and director in a range of complex technology environments which make her ideally qualified for the role, leading a highly capable team within Telstra.

“She also brings strong understanding of the Australian market and Telstra as the leading network provider, as Juniper has been a valued partner of Telstra.”

Denholm, who will be based in Sydney, has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of ANZ.

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Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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