Telstra CTO departs as reports claim CV fraud

Telstra refuses to comment on reports that Telstra CTO Vish Nandlall was fired for falsifying his CV, but has confirmed his departure from the company.

Telstra has confirmed that chief technology officer Vish Nandlall has departed the company, but refuses to comment on speculation that he was sacked following evidence that he falsified his CV.

The Australian had reported on Saturday morning that Nandlall had been sacked after he plagiarised a presentation and additionally falsified his CV.

According to CRN, Nandlall said he had left Telstra for personal reasons, and that he insisted his CV is accurate. CRN also pointed out that all of Nandlall's posts on the Telstra Exchange Blog have been removed by the company.

Telstra has not yet addressed whether it will immediately replace the CTO role, which falls under the umbrella of the telco's "innovation" business led by ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Telstra has been eyeing the broad category of innovation of late, with Penn late last year saying Australia's success as a digital economy relies on its ability to imitate the company's own innovation strategy.

Nandlall last year helped launch the telecommunications provider's Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne alongside CEO Andrew Penn, which was also used as a platform to announce its partnership with Pivotal for an enterprise software platform.

Nandlall had said the idea behind the innovation lab was to "take the world's smartest people, put them in a facility, remove all friction ... and you create a market".

"When technology is uncertain and markets are highly uncertain, you need something to be a forcing function to catalyse the invention of that industry," Nandlall explained in an interview with ZDNet in August.

Despite this company-wide focus on innovation, however, the former CTO last month said the word "innovation" needs to stop being used.

"We start to confuse the word for the thing itself. Most practitioners of innovation don't use the word innovation," Nandlall claimed, speaking at the Knowledge Nation 2016 summit in Sydney in April.

"Chances are, if you can't be clear about what innovation is, the odds of you achieving it are pretty low."

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