Ted Pretty, group managing director for technology, innovation and products at Telstra, said Padmanabhan -- a 20-year veteran of IBM -- had worked closely with Smith since joining the telecommunications giant in June 2004. Smith left yesterday after what Pretty claimed was a successful tenure.
Pretty said a few internal candidates from the company's senior IT leadership team were considered for the post but Padmanabhan was selected due to his "extensive and well-regarded industry experience and his strong discipline in operational, vendor and product management".
In his final two years at Big Blue, Padmanabhan was responsible for running IBM's application management services contract with Telstra.
Prior to that, Padmanabhan held several senior management positions throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific. He is a graduate of the University of South Australia's Elton Mayo School of Management.
"This experience ... will be crucial to Telstra as we continue [the] IT transformation within the company," Pretty said in a statement. "The first stage of this transformation has brought together Telstra's IT groups, transformed our IT delivery model and developed new partnerships. The second stage, which we are now pursuing, will focus on operational performance, IT governance and IT end-to-end process re-engineering."