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Wednesday, 06 July 2011 10:00

Telstra combines all retail business units under Ballantyne


Telstra CEO, David Thodey, has announced a major restructuring of the company in move designed to "sharpen the company's focus on customers and position Telstra for industry changes including the National Broadband Network."

The biggest change is the unification of Telstra's entire sales and retail customer service workforce - from those serving the largest enterprises to the individual consumer - into a single business unit, from 1 August.

The new division, Telstra Customer Sales & Service, will be headed by Gordon Ballantyne as chief customer officer. Ballantyne - a former vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group in the UK - joined Telstra in June 2010 as group managing director (GMD) of Telstra Consumer and Channels.

He will be responsible for sales and service to all segments including consumer, business, enterprise and government customers. The heads of Telstra's current customer facing units - Business and Enterprise And Government - will report to Ballantyne and will be members of the extended CEO leadership team.

According to Thodey the new unit "will enable us to work as one team to serve our customers better, win in the market and become more efficient as we prepare for the National Broadband Network." Mr Thodey said.

To support of the new Customer Sales & Service unit, the company's marketing functions will be centralised under chief marketing officer, Mark Buckman.

Telstra says it will also "centralise key internal business support functions that do not directly serve customers, clarifying accountabilities and freeing-up customer-facing teams to provide outstanding customer service.

Also, Telstra veteran Stuart Lee has been appointed as group managing director, Telstra Wholesale. The present head of Telstra Wholesale is Glenn Osborne who has been acting in the role since early 2010.


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Thodey said: "Stuart will be an outstanding head of our wholesale business as the industry transitions to an NBN environment. With enormous experience gained over more than 40 years since he joined the organisation as a cadet engineer, Stuart will ensure our wholesale business continues to be strong, successful and focused on providing our wholesale customers with outstanding products and customer service."

NBN Co will become Telstra's largest wholesale customer by virtue of its agreement to lease Telstra infrastructure including dark fibre, exchange space and ducts for at least 35 years. Telstra Wholesale will continue to comply with separation undertakings.

Telstra also plans to form an Applications & Ventures Group (AVG) to lead its investment in new and emerging high-speed broadband businesses. It will be led by Deena Shiff, presently group managing director, Telstra Business. Will Irving, presently group general counsel, will succeed her as head of Telstra business. A new group general counsel will be announced in coming weeks.

Thodey also announced a series of new lines of business and proposed internal structural changes designed to support the company's long-term strategy.

Telstra will establish specialised teams to pursue opportunities in cloud computing and media. Telstra's international business unit, headed by Tarek Robbiati, will gain day-to-day responsibility for managing the network assets it uses to serve international enterprise and carrier customers.

Telstra's Operations business unit will be accountable for providing all back-of-house services for consumer customers. Telstra says this will make it easier to manage processes from a customer's point of view, and simpler to track and report the company's operational performance.


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