NBN Co's Kaiser shafted for ex-Telstra exec Rousselot

NBN Co's Kaiser shafted for ex-Telstra exec Rousselot

Summary: Labor-affiliated Mike Kaiser has had his role in NBN Co replaced by a new role for friend of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, JB Rousselot.


The controversial Labor-picked NBN Co head of quality, Mike Kaiser, will leave the organisation effective immediately, after executive chair Dr Ziggy Switkowski announced that he would be replaced by ex-Telstra executive and friend of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, JB Rousselot.

Rousselot had long been expected to take on a role with the company, after he left his executive director of media role at Telstra in May this year to return to France. Rousselot will join the company in the new role of head of strategy and transformation, leading the company through its 60-day review to be completed by early December.

"Rousselot will help oversee the continuing transition process as NBN Co moves to deliver the government's policy of deploying a broader mix of technologies to ensure every Australian is able to receive very fast broadband," Switkowski said in a statement.

The 60-day review will then have its recommendations incorporated into NBN Co's 2014-17 corporate plan. The company had produced a draft corporate plan update for this year; however, the then-Labor Cabinet did not have time to consider it before the election. Turnbull has subsequently said that the plan cannot be relied upon.

Rousselot, who worked with Turnbull in the 1990s at Ozemail, will join NBN Co at the expense of the controversial Labor-appointee Mike Kaiser, who initially came to the company as the head of government relations, but ended up as the head of quality. The latter position was made redundant as part of Rousselot's appointment.

Former Labor official, Kaiser's appointment to the AU$450,000 per-year role had sparked controversy from the Coalition at the time, with Liberal Senator Eric Abetz stating that the appointment at that payrate was "outrageous".

ZDNet has asked NBN Co for details on Rousselot's remuneration at the company, a spokesperson for NBN Co said that the salary will be disclosed in NBN Co's annual report next year.

Switkowski thanked Kaiser for his time with NBN Co.

"Kaiser was one of NBN Co's first employees and has fulfilled important leadership roles in the formation of NBN Co and its development over four years. He is a well-regarded and committed executive, having worked across the company on many of its biggest initiatives. I thank him for his many contributions and wish him well for the next phase of his career," he said.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Another great pick I'm sure lol. Meanwhile Switkowski is moving GimpCo to "deliver" "a broader mix of technologies" even before the 60 day review recommendations... how odd... 1164 days to go!
    Hubert Cumberdale
  • Turnbull

    keeps insisting on using Telstra copper, keeps firing people and replacing them with ex-Telstra execs... I have to suspect that he has some shady deal going on with them.
    • Considering

      Much of the NBN's FTTP delays and issues can be laid at Telstra's feet (remediation and asbestos and the timing of the Asbestos based remediation halt) - all that extreme incompetence or intentional sabotage caused workflow issues and delays that caused issues the contractors an subbies.
      Now we see they are hand in glove with the LNP (Ruperts glove puppets) Quisling Government
      Abel Adamski
  • The Circus

    I had read the comments over many months about the pros and cons of the not very fast NBN solution proposed by the Libs but what I enjoyed most was the often comical responses from Mr Richard Flude.

    After the election has been won he has disappeared from the scene and the loss of his comical and heavily blinkered views is sadly missed. Could he have been a pseudo character of Mr Turnbull himself or someone else on his ticket? Richard, I miss your comedy, please come back!
    Kit Walker
    • Flude

      Of course Kit, that was Malcolm, why do you think his comments were so inaccurate and unintelligent, after all they were edited by his boss.