Optus appoints ex-rival chief as COO

Optus has appointed former Hutchison Australia chief Kevin Russell in the newly created role of chief operations officer.

Optus has appointed former Hutchison Australia chief Kevin Russell in the newly created role of chief operations officer.

Kevin Russell

Kevin Russell
(Credit: Optus)

Russell will be responsible for day-to-day operations of consumer, small and medium business, Optus' wholesale and satellite divisions and Optus' subsidiary Virgin Mobile. He will report directly to CEO Paul O'Sullivan.

Russell comes to the role after five years as chief operating officer and chief executive officer of Hutchison Three UK. Prior to this, Russell was the CEO of Hutchison Australia, where he oversaw the roll-out of Australia's first 3G Network. Russell left in 2006, to be replaced by the current CEO of Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), Nigel Dews.

Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan said that Russell's experience will be of great benefit to Optus.

"His track record in the industry speaks for itself, and I am delighted to welcome him to the Optus team," O'Sullivan said in a statement.

After taking a six-month break from his previous job to move back to Australia, Russell said that he is looking forward to working with Optus.

"I'm returning to Australia at a very exciting time in the telecoms industry, with the roll-out of 4G and the National Broadband Network [NBN] both gathering pace. I'm looking forward to working with Paul and the Optus team, to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead."

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