Former AT&T, BHP chiefs join Telstra board

Past leaders of United States-based telco AT&T Wireless and BHP Petroleum will join Telstra's board as non-executive directors, the company announced today. The appointment of past (1999-2004) AT&T Wireless chief executive John Zeglis comes as the company has faced criticism over the past year for a perceived lack of technical telecommunications expertise at board level.

Past leaders of United States-based telco AT&T Wireless and BHP Petroleum will join Telstra's board as non-executive directors, the company announced today.

The appointment of past (1999-2004) AT&T Wireless chief executive John Zeglis comes as the company has faced criticism over the past year for a perceived lack of technical telecommunications expertise at board level.

"John Zeglis has led a distinguised career in the US telecommunications sector and brings enormous insight and experience to the board," Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie said in a statement issued this morning.

The chief executive from 1986 to 1994 of home-grown company BHP Petroleum Peter Willcox will also join Telstra's board.

"Peter Willcox is one of Australia's most respected and experienced executives and now non-executive directors," said McGauchie.

Both appointments will need to be endorsed by shareholders at the company's next annual general meeting on 14 November. However Telstra's major shareholder, the federal government, has already given Zeglis and Willcox the nod.

"In accordance with Telstra's constitution, the chairman, Mr Donald McGauchie, recommended these appointments to the shareholder minister who were pleased to indicate their approval," said a statement issued by the government today.

Telstra has been seeking new board members for quite some time. Coles Myer chief John Fletcher announced his resignation in February -- effective 30 June -- while several others have left in the past few years.

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