Can A Management Reshuffle Save Telstra?

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Telstra has announced a major restructure of its executive ranks, including the appointment of former SBS boss Michael Ebeid to run its Enterprise team and the departure of chief financial officer Warwick Bray and two other senior rankers.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn warned last month there would be changes to his management team as the company works to reposition itself amid strong competition for mobile and internet customers as well as the impact of the NBN. Telstra shares edged up to $2.81

Stephen Elop, a former Nokia chief executive who was brought on board to deliver Telstra much-needed technology credentials is another casualty in yesterday’s “Bloody Monday ousting’. He has been with Telstra for only two years.

"Stephen has been instrumental in guiding Telstra’s corporate strategy and building the company’s technology credentials since he joined in April 2016. He played a key role in bringing together the chief technology office and corporate strategy groups to support the company’s shift from an incumbent telco," Telstra said in a statement.

But not good enough to remain at Telstra

Besides Messrs Elop and Bray, the head of Telstra wholesale, Will Irving, and Joe Pollard, who was head of media and marketing, are going.

Chief operations officer Robyn Denholm is the new CFO while current enterprise and services chief, Brendon Riley, will move to oversee the telco’s new infrastructure division, Telstra InfraCo.

The most notable change though is the hiring of former CBS CEO, Michael Ebeid to look after its corporate and government customers, less than two weeks after he jumped from the public broadcaster.

Mr Ebeid will be head of Telstra’s Enterprise division – he spent more than seven years at the helm of SBS and 10 years at Optus. He starts at Telstra on October 8.

In addition Telstra said Alex Badenoch will lead the company’s strategy plans and company executive David Burns will takeover as the head of the global business services unit.

Vicki Brady will continue to lead the consumer and small business division, Carmel Mulhern will remain in legal and corporate affairs and a new product and technology executive will be announced shortly.

The new executive appointments take effect from October 1, with the departing executives to leave in the next few weeks.

Mr Penn said the changes were an important step in delivering Telstra’s new "Telstra 2022" simplification strategy.

“Ultimately the simplified and streamlined structure will remove duplication, hierarchy and silos across the organisation," Mr Penn said in a statement yesterday.

Telstra last month announced it would axe 8,000 jobs, sell assets and hive off its fixed network infrastructure as a new business in a bid to slash costs and improve performance.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

View more articles by Glenn Dyer →