Telstra strategy won't change: Thodey

Telstra strategy won't change: Thodey

Summary: Telstra's broad strategy would remain unchanged, the telco's incoming chief executive David Thodey told journalists this morning, following confirmation of his appointment.

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TOPICS: Telcos, Telstra
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Telstra's broad strategy would remain unchanged, the telco's incoming chief executive David Thodey told journalists this morning, following confirmation of his appointment.

David Thodey (Credit: Telstra)

"Our strategy has remained unchanged," he told gathered press in Melbourne of the company's general view going forward. Thodey will take up the reins at Telstra from July following the departure of current Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo.

It's very important we have a strong relationship with government ... but I've got to stress, we've got to do what's right for Telstra and Australia going forward

Incoming Telstra CEO David Thodey

Although he said the company had been in consultations with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy on the National Broadband Network and would continue the dialogue, Thodey made it clear the company would not kowtow to government.

"I think it's very important we have a strong relationship with government ... but I've got to stress, we've got to do what's right for Telstra and Australia going forward," he said.

However, Thodey sidestepped questions on whether he believed outgoing CEO Sol Trujillo's strategy had been the right one. "I think it's important to look forward," he said.

The company's stance on the unions also seemed unchanged, with Thodey appearing to take a hard stance in response to queries on whether he would engage with workers to avert the current strike, which has been running since December.

"I think there's two principles. We respect the right of every individual to join the union. That's their right. But also we rely on pay for performance. That's the setting we have, and within that setting we'll talk to anybody," he said.

Thodey said he would be sitting down over the next few days with outgoing CEO Sol Trujillo to discuss an "orderly transition". Trujillo is scheduled to finish his tenure at the end of June.

Having described Trujillo as an agent for change, Thodey described himself as an "agent for the customer". He vowed to complete Telstra's transformation, saying there was still a lot of work to do, especially in the customer experience side of things.

New Telstra chair Catherine Livingstone, who was also appointed this morning following the resignation of Donald McGauchie, agreed. "It's really important that we build on the investment that's been made," she said.

Topics: Telcos, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Laurei

    "I think it's very important we have a strong relationship with government ... but I've got to stress, we've got to do what's right for Telstra and Australia going forward," he said.

    Since when has Telstra ever done the best for Australia? Telstra is a true corporate enterprise in theory and in practice, they have NEVER looked out for Australia, in fact Telstra have used their market dominance to keep technology out of our hands because it has suited them, and that is unforgivable.
    anonymous