Wednesday, 04 April 2018 09:55

NBN Co chief Morrow to quit by end of 2018 Featured

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NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow is leaving the company by the end of the year, according to a statement from the company.

In October last year, iTWire raised the question of whether Morrow would stay on at the company to see the rollout of the national broadband network through as his 457 visa runs out this year. The same month, network expert Mark Gregory, associate professor in network engineering at RMIT, told  iTWire that Morrow appeared to be in trouble and was looking for a parachute.

Morrow was quoted in the company statement as saying: “I believe that as the company prepares to confront the new challenges ahead, this is the right time to hand over the reins for the next phase of this incredible project and for me to plan for the next step in my career.”

NBN Co chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said: "The country has been fortunate to have Bill lead this extraordinary project. While we will be sorry to see him leave, Bill has built a resilient, performance-driven organisation which will build on his legacy.”

The NBN Co statement said a global search would be launched for his successor. It seems likely that in the wake of his exit, NBN Co will move away from HFC more and more.

By the time he leaves, Morrow would have been in the job for four years and nine months, by which time the NBN Co estimates that 80% of the rollout will be completed. The rollout is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

NBN Co has been at the receiving end of a multitude of complaints for years and it is rare to find a good word being said about the organisation.

Recent moves by the regulatory bodies like the ACCC to inquire into aspects of the rollout have made it harder for Morrow and his management team to continue with their policies.

In a joint statement, Finance Minister Matthias Cormann and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield thanked Morrow for what they called "his outstanding leadership" of the company since April 2014.

They said under his guidance, the NBN had "met all of its operational and financial targets".

Cormann and Fifield said when Morrow began his term, the NBN was available to around 300,000 premises.

"The network is now available to more than 6.4 million homes and businesses across the nation with more than 3.7 million already connected. More than 100,000 premises are being connected every month," they said.

"The project remains on track and on budget with the 2020 completion date firmly in sight."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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