Trujillo: Australia is racist, anachronistic

Trujillo: Australia is racist, anachronistic

Summary: Departed former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo has called Australia racist and claimed that the local economy had only become "developed" in the last decade.

SHARE:
54

Departed former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo has called Australia racist and claimed that the local economy had only become "developed" in the last decade.

Sol Trujillo(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet.com.au)

Speaking to the BBC, Trujillo said about racism: "My point is that that does exist and it's got to change because the world is full of a lot of people and most economies have to take advantage — including Australia — of a diverse set of people. And if there is a belief that only a certain people are acceptable versus others, that is a sad state."

The full BBC interview does not appear to be available online, but several excerpts from it can be found here and here.

Trujillo pointed to events not cited over the past decade from his own personal experience with racism: "I think it was evidenced in a lot of ways there with me personally, but more importantly with others".

But one event that Trujillo did expand upon was Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's "Adios" response to the news that Trujillo was leaving Telstra. "Many Australians have come up to me and they've apologised, because they're embarrassed by that kind of behaviour," he said.

The former Telstra chief also said that the local business environment was different to that of the US. "In many ways it's like stepping back in time, just simply because of some of the policies, some of the laws that are more recent," he said.

"If you think about privatisation of companies — you know that's only 10 or 15 years old, in terms of what most people would call a developed economy."

He was unrepentant on the issue of CEO pay. "There are always people that will criticise compensation, but these are big jobs with big responsibilities, and somebody needs to do it but they need to be incented to do it otherwise you'll get very mediocre-like people and then you'll get government-like behaviour," he said.

Throughout the interview, Trujillo repeated his belief that innovation occurs in areas free of government intervention. "The internet's not regulated, innovation occurs. Wireless isn't regulated, innovation occurs. Fixed line is regulated, and it's now 100 years old and still moving at a snail's pace."

Last week Trujillo claimed that the National Broadband Network was a fantasy.

Topics: Broadband, Legal, Telcos, Telstra, NBN

About

Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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

Talkback

54 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What a tosser

    playing the race card.... I think he was hated for other few other reasons than being a Mexican
    anonymous
  • So true!

    Yep its a bit late, i have no sympathy, besides you didnt do our country any good, if anything you sabotaged telstra share holders and this nations tele com. network by playing your bluff games with the government. You lost, you are a bad CEO and i dont believe you were worth what they paid you.
    anonymous
  • Sour Grapes from Sol

    The board let you go a month earlier because of your stuff ups with the Government and NBN
    Good to see you gone SOL
    anonymous
  • Totally agree

    It's highly racist to attempt to speak a foreign person's native tongue.

    We should forget trying to educate our children and just teach them to SHOUT CLEARLY AT FOREIGNERS in english, like dear ol' Blighty, our mother nation.

    Clearly, what kev should have slowly said was GOOD RIDDANCE, YOU'RE A TALENTLESS, POMPOUS, SELF-AGGRANDISING DORK!

    Kind of ironic that the country he has gone back to is one of the most xenophobic and racist countries in the world (in a freedom and liberty for all kind of way).

    I feel sorry for Mexicans that they have to be associated with this guy, I found the Mayans a very friendly bunch while I was there. I'm not the expert Spanish linguist that Kev is, but usted es un perdedor, Sol.
    anonymous
  • Totally agree

    It's highly racist to attempt to speak a foreign person's native tongue.

    We should forget trying to educate our children and just teach them to SHOUT CLEARLY AT FOREIGNERS in english, like dear ol' Blighty, our mother nation.

    Clearly, what kev should have slowly said was GOOD RIDDANCE, YOU'RE A TALENTLESS, POMPOUS, SELF-AGGRANDISING DORK!

    Kind of ironic that the country he has gone back to is one of the most xenophobic and racist countries in the world (in a freedom and liberty for all kind of way).

    I feel sorry for Mexicans that they have to be associated with this guy, I found the Mayans a very friendly bunch while I was there. I'm not the expert Spanish linguist that Kev is, but usted es un perdedor, Sol.
    anonymous
  • Business Environment?

    Let's hope Australia retains it's backward, Govt regulated business environment. Who wants to be on par with a country who's business ideology has caused the greatest financial meltdown in the history of captiolism?

    Funny also that the US is now trying to backfill legislation to cope with the disaster they created. Legislation that has kept Australia solvent whilst our more "mature" trading partners go down the gurgler.

    As for racist, yes, Aussies are racist. We don't much like septics and don't understand Hispanic is supposed to be something special in the US. Excuse our ignorance, we just thought Sol was a big fat liar! But a bit rich comming from a US citizen, the most racist country on the planet!
    anonymous
  • Base whole race [Australians] based on quote of individual

    Is it not rasism in its pure form for Sol to assert that Australia [and those who live there] can be classified by the actions of individuals?
    I would not start to attribute Hispanic people as a whole based on Sol's arrogance, each man by his actions. A quick quote search, especially in relation to American situations can show how "me, poor me, all about my birth" outlook this guy has.

    But then again he did try this at AT&T, and he is known keep his old ideas.
    anonymous
  • Sol sells soul

    Funny... he didn't seem so principled as he was raking in the millions in our "racist" country. Maybe the money outweighed the terrible intolerance he must have endured?
    anonymous
  • Go back to Old El Paso

    That's right Sol, blame everybody but yourself, especially those racist Aussies and them pesky regulations. Why don't you hand back some of the money we paid you f**k things up? Oh no, that'd be crazy!
    anonymous
  • he is kinda right...

    Having just moved to Australia from Silicon Valley (I am originally from Zimbabwe, so have no yank bias) I totally agree that business in AU is years behind the western world, and sometimes I really do feel like I am back in the late 90s in the US. This, however, is offset by all the positives of living in this wonderful country. As long as you can accept that you aren't on the cutting edge of technology or business, there is no better place to live on the planet
    anonymous
  • Spin King Kev. ADIOS to you.

    Sol was treated to racial taunts while he was in Australia. My only hope that, as as he mixes with the top business people of the world, he forgets the ignorant Okker and does not do too much damage to Australia. The worst racial taunts were from Kevin Rudd, the King of Spin and Con.
    anonymous
  • Trujillo

    Thank you Trujillo for informing the world that you don't mess around with Australia. You came as a puppet of the Right wing government which was an American puppet and you found out that we won't take that rubbish.
    If you were a man you would go back and fix up your country of heritage rather than try to stuff up the most livable country in the world.
    anonymous
  • noone wants to admit to being racist towards sol?

    I'd like you all to go back over the last four years of ZDNET posts re sol and telstra and count how many "Go home Sol"/"Get rid of the Mexican"/"Americans out" etc etc etc comments. Have a shot of bourbs for every one and pass out within the first article that was responded to.

    Agreed, a lot of people didnt agree with policy, but i can certainly remember seeing a lot more "go home mexican" comments than constructive criticism.
    anonymous
  • Hmmm

    Sol's trusty offsider Dr. Phil, didn't hesitate to tell us all about those horrible Optus people from Singapore.

    ah, maybe that's who Sol was referring to as racist?
    anonymous
  • You'll soon turn on Sol too, Syd!

    As I said below Sydney, Dr. Phil and even you didn't mind telling us all about those rotten Optus people from Singapore, did you? So don't get too uppity now.

    I wonder how long it will take you and the rest of "Team Telstra" to turn on your messiah Sol, just like you have done Rudd, who you saw as your last messiah?

    I reckon by July you'll all be blaming Sol for Telstra's woes, just like you do now with Rudd.

    I can see it now, mark my words.
    anonymous
  • Back in time...

    "In many ways it's like stepping back in time"

    You mean like back in time before the financial crisis or back further before Mr Bush screwed up your country???
    anonymous
  • yep

    and there's no racism whatsoever in Arizona... Grow up Sol, If you didn't take an excessive salary, destroy Telstra's share value, get excluded from both Howard and Rudd's NBN and treat telstra employees with contempt, then racism would come into the equation. But you did all these things and if you don't have a thicker skin, you shouldnt be in your line of business.
    anonymous
  • Mediocre people?

    ""There are always people that will criticise compensation, but these are big jobs with big responsibilities, and somebody needs to do it but they need to be incented to do it otherwise you'll get very mediocre-like people and then you'll get government-like behaviour," he said."

    haha, Sol took what was a very good company and slowly and surely worked it into the ground. He is the mediocre people he is referring to, and I hope that now he's gone Telstra can go back to being a better managed and more respected company again.
    anonymous
  • @Spin King Kev. ADIOS to you.

    "Sol was treated to racial taunts while he was in Australia."

    Yeah, and he was the perfect image of political correctness too. news.com.au has this article/video detailing how great Sol is .. http://business.smh.com.au/business/sols-short-memory-of-singapore-slur-20090526-bm9p.html
    anonymous
  • Sol

    The combination of Sol's arrogance and Phil Burgess' outright rudeness and aggression has left Telstra in a very sorry state. Nothing to do with them being American (and/or of Mexican extraction). They have out and out failed to increase shareholder value and it is no wonder that someone more considered, in the form of David Thodey, has been chosen to run the company. they now might have a fighting chance of being able to work with the government rather than trying to bully it into submission. Being a pom living in Oz it was very refreshing to see the Australian government refusing to buckle to Telstra's often outrageous behavior. More than can be said for the British government and it's fear of big business (particularly US hedge funds, banks etc)... I hope that Telstra sheds each and every one of the (numerous) American cronies brought in at different levels by Trujillo and his amigos... For the record, I thought Rudd's 'adios' comment was pure genius... show disrespect where it is deserved...
    anonymous