Melbourne IT nabs Optus broadband boss as new CEO

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Melbourne IT nabs Optus broadband boss as new CEO
Martin Mercer

Optus broadband boss Martin Mercer will join Melbourne IT as its new chief executive following the departure of long-running CEO Theo Hnarakis last August.

Mercer will leave his role as Optus’ managing director of strategy and fixed — a position he was appointed to in March last year — to begin leading Melbourne IT as of April, with a $500,000 salary.

Mercer joined Optus in 2013 following the acquisition of vividwireless, where he had been serving as CEO since 2009.

He has previous experience at Telstra across its wholesale, sales and marketing divisions.

Melbourne IT CFO Peter Findlay had been acting CEO since Hnarakis’ departure.

Hnarakis had been at the helm of Melbourne IT for more than a decade, but announced his departure ahead of a planned business-wide restructure which aimed to simplify the business and save $6.5 million in costs.

The restructure saw a slimming down of Melbourne IT's executive team in an effort to cut 10 percent of the company's corporate costs.

Along with Hnarakis, Melbourne IT's global human resources manager and chief legal counsel also left the company.

Last year Melbourne IT sold both its digital marketing division, Digital Brand Services, and digital recording division ForTheRecord, for $152.5 million and $6.3 million respectively, earning it a $66.4 million gain. 

Optus Consumer CEO Kevin Russell said the opportunity was well suited to Mercer's skills.

"We will miss him, but it’s understandable why he’s taking it on," he said in a statement.

“Martin has been a valued colleague and contributor to the Optus leadership team since joining us in March 2013 after we acquired vividwireless. His time with us has been short but his impact has been significant."

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