Vocus poaches Telstra channel chief Charlotte Schraa

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Vocus poaches Telstra channel chief Charlotte Schraa
Charlotte Schraa, Vocus

Vocus has hired former Telstra channel chief Charlotte Schraa, joining a growing list of executives jumping ship between the telecommunications rivals.

CRN reported yesterday that Schraa had left Telstra after eight years with the telco and two years leading the indirect channel business.

The role will be filled by acting head of global partner management Maria Tsiaplis while Telstra searches for a replacement.

It's unclear what Schraa's new role will be at Vocus.

She joined Telstra in 2010 and was appointed head of specialist partner channel six years later. In October 2017, she was promoted to head of global partner management, where she led Telstra's global channel, which generated $830 million in sales last year.

Schraa joins Telstra's former consumer boss Kevin Russell at Vocus, who was named as the new managing director and chief executive two months ago. He replaced former chief executive Geoff Horth, who announced his plan to exit Vocus in February.

Russell led Telstra's retail division for 18 months before leaving in September 2017, and was previously chief executive of Hustchison Telecoms in Australia and Three in the UK prior to joining Telstra.

The other major scalp from Telstra was Andrew Wildblood, who left the telco last week after 19 years to lead Vocus's enterprise business unit. Vocus's former head of enterprise and government Scott Carter left the company in April after seven years.

Schraa's appointment comes at a tumultuous time for Australia's telco market, with both Telstra and Vocus having a rough start to 2018.

Telstra unveiled its Telstra2022 strategy last month, which will see at least 8000 employees and contractors cut and between two and four layers of management removed in an effort to reduce costs, simplify its organisational structure and turn around financial performance.

Vocus, on the other hand, has had its share price hammered over the last year. Its performance even became the subject of a shareholder proposed class action lawsuit over allegedly "misleading and deceptive conduct", which centred on claims that the telco overstated its FY17 guidance.

In January this year, Vocus split its wholesale and enterprise divisions into two separate businesses, at the time saying it would allow the company to capitalise on the Nextgen Networks acquisition it made in 2016 for $861 million.

The telco now has four separate operating segments each with its own chief executive: enterprise and government, wholesale and international, consumer and New Zealand.

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