Telstra leaders exit, new executive team unveiled

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Telstra leaders exit, new executive team unveiled

Telstra has revealed the departure of four senior leaders, and revealed a new leadership lineup as part of an organisational restructure in line with its Telstra2022 strategy flagged last month.

Exiting senior Telstra staff are chief financial officer Warwick Bray, technology innovation and strategy group executive Stephen Elop, wholesale group executive Will Irving and chief marketing officer Joe Pollard.

Telstra announced recent SBS chief executive and managing director Michael Ebeid would join the company to run its enterprise team on 8 October, while Brendon Riley will become chief executive of Telstra InfraCo, the infrastructure business to be spun out of the telco as announced in June.

Nikos Katinakis, who was most recently executive vice president of networks for Indian telco Reliance Jio, will join in mid-October to lead networks and IT, while David Burns will move from the enterprise team to lead global business services, tasked with simplifying customer service and internal support operations.

Robyn Denholm has been appointed as the company’s new chief financial officer and head of strategy, and Alex Badenoch will lead the “Telstra2022 strategy transformation execution” and drive.

The telco has established its new product and technology division, with a new group executive role to be announced shortly. Telstra consumer and small business will continue to be led by Vicki Brady, and Carmel Mulhern will continue as legal and corporate affairs group executive.

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said the “simplification of our products and services built on new technology” was at the heart of the changes.

“By mid-next year we will have fully rolled out our market-leading products and services to help deliver these changes we are announcing a new end-to-end products and technology division of Telstra. It means we will significantly increase our technical capabilities around product development and management,” he wrote.

“The changes I am announcing today will ensure we continue to deliver market-leading innovation in networks and support the build-out of 5G and internet of things.

“Ultimately the simplified and streamlined structure will remove duplication, hierarchy and silos across the organisation. It will help us improve the service that we provide to our customers, the efficiency of the business an dour competitiveness, as well as increase our productivity and reduce costs.”

The announcement of the executive shakeup follows a number of other executive departures from the telco in recent months.

CRN last week reported Telstra channel chief Charlotte Schraa left the company after eight years to join Vocus.

The head of Telstra's direct business unit Andrew Wildblood also left the company to join Vocus after 19 years with the telco. Wildblood joined former Telstra executive and new Vocus chief Kevin Russell.

Telstra also announced in July that group managing director for networks Mike Wright had exited after a 38-year run with the company.

Telstra 2022

Telstra unveiled the first details of its Telstra 2022 strategy in June, revealing it would axe at least 8000 jobs and reorganise management in a major overhaul. 

Through the cuts, Telstra expects to add an extra $1 billion into its previously announced target of $1.5 billion to see its “productivity program” hit $2.5 billion by financial year 2022.

Additional restructuring costs of $600 million are expected to be incurred in the 2019 financial year in addition to further restructuring costs towards 2022.

The company will also break out most of its infrastructure-related business to a new wholly owned entity called InfraCo, to provide “optionality” for a potential demerger in light of the NBN rollout.

“We are creating a new Telstra that is able to continue to lead the market. In the future our workforce will be a smaller, knowledge-based one with a structure and way of working that is agile enough to deal with rapid change,” Penn said at the time.

“This means that some roles will no longer be required, some will change and there will also be new ones created.”

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