New Fujitsu head to Foster telco relations

Fujitsu's acting chief executive Mike Foster has today been confirmed as the new permanent head of the technology giant's Australia and New Zealand operations, and promises to expand the company's network services offerings.

Fujitsu's acting chief executive Mike Foster has today been confirmed as the new permanent head of the technology giant's Australia and New Zealand operations, and promises to expand the company's network services offerings.

Mike Foster

Mike Foster (Credit: Fujitsu)

"We've had a strong heritage around our IT outsourcing, datacentres, cloud application development and consulting, now I see a real opportunity for Fujitsu to take a leadership around network services," Foster told ZDNet Australia today following his appointment.

Foster said that Fujitsu will hold discussions with major national and international telecommunications providers about deals for network and carriage services, adding that he and the company have close ties to the telco industry.

"I spent nine years at Telstra for example, so I have a good relationship with them, and we know Optus well and we have a good relationship with global telcos like Verizon ... so we're talking to many partners about where the opportunities are," he said.

Foster said, however, that he was unsure if major telcos who already offer their own cloud services — like Telstra — would partner with Fujitsu, given that the two would likely be competing with each other.

"That's their decision to make [to partner with us]. There may be times when they want to partner with [other providers], but we will be a major player in this space," he promised.

Foster also told ZDNet Australia that over the next two years, the Australia and New Zealand business is likely to add "several hundred staff" to its ranks, and wouldn't rule the company out of building another datacentre in-country.

Fujitsu's now ex-Australia and New Zealand CEO, Rod Vawdrey, was earlier this month promoted to vice president of Fujitsu's Global Business Group, after holding the position of CEO and MD since 2003.

Under his guidance, Fujitsu achieved several major acquisitions in Australia, including local IT services company, Kaz, in 2009. At that time, Foster was Kaz's managing director. After the acquisition, Foster became a group executive director of sales and business development with Fujitsu, a role that was perceived in the industry as being second-in-charge to Vawdrey.

Prior to working at Kaz, Foster had joined Telstra in 2000, where he held the position of managing director for business and government sales.

"Mike brings a wealth of experience to the role as well a broad knowledge of the Australia/New Zealand market," Vawdrey said today.

"We have much to be proud of with the accomplishments of [Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand] over the last five years in achieving profitable growth year-on-year. I am confident that, under Mike's leadership, [we] will continue to build on that success," Vawdrey added.

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