Westpac hires ex-Telstra CIO

Westpac hires ex-Telstra CIO

Summary: Former Telstra chief information officer (CIO) Vish Padmanabhan, who walked out on the carrier after his position was usurped last year, has quietly worked his way into the finance sector.

TOPICS: CXO, Banking, Telcos, Telstra

exclusive Former Telstra chief information officer (CIO) Vish Padmanabhan, who walked out on the carrier after his position was usurped last year, has quietly worked his way into the finance sector.

ZDNet Australia has learned that Padmanabhan is working at Westpac Bank as program director on a range of projects.

Westpac hires ex-Telstra CIO: Vish Padmanabhan

A Westpac spokesperson confirmed his role, saying Padmanabhan (right) has been working at the bank since mid-January under the guidance of chief security officer David Backley. The role is not permanent.

The spokesperson would not reveal more details on the nature of his work.

An industry veteran who spent 20 years at IBM prior to Telstra, Padmanabhan's Big Blue experience could be valuable as Westpac has a wide-ranging IT services contract with IBM Global Services.

He started his career at the telco in June 2004, working closely with then CIO Jeff Smith.

In April 2005, Padmanabhan was promoted to CIO but his tenure was short-lived. In April 2006, the appointment of Fiona Balfour -- who spent Qantas after 14 years -- saw him demoted to his previous role of deputy CIO. He left Telstra later that year and his position was abolished.

While Balfour continued in the CIO role, she only lasted 10 months. She resigned abruptly earlier this month.

Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo this month cited differences between Balfour and Telstra's chief operating officer Greg Winn as the reason for her departure.

Topics: CXO, Banking, Telcos, Telstra

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  • Gimps the lot of them.

    What does some chick know about being a CIO ?

    peh...typical mediocre talents who lucked into the role and now hop from job to job every 2 years before their incompetence is exposed.

    hey, nice work if you can get it I suppose....fat bonuses too!
    Where do I sign up?.... 360..360...synergy..align business drivers....comfort level.....PKI...PKI !!!!

    See?, it's not hard at all.....
  • Incompetence plus.

    Fully agree have these BS artists many times. Their time is usually short until the powers that be wake to their scam. Lets hope Telstra get rid of these dangerous fakers.
  • Good people


    I'll bite! I used to work at Telstra and have had the opportunity to work with Jeff, Vish and Fiona, all different and all good. IMO Vish is real talent, a great peoples person and a good eye for detail. If you think that you can truly balance the needs of the business, ensure that technology investment is sound and legacy problems can be addressed without effecting the business and still maintain a dynamic IT capability then go ahead and step up, but I bet that you'd be eaten alive within the first 5mins.

    Unless you know any of these people personally, maybe you should keep your uneducated comments to yourself.
  • I know them all....


    They just jump through whatever hoop the vendor and Gartner tell them too.

    It's like winning the lottery, once you're "in" then you're "in", doesn't take any particular talent, just luck and some brown-nosing.

    You're really not too bright now, are you ?

    You have my sympathies.
  • Do you really know what you're talking about?

    Firstly, why don't you put your name behind your comments? Can't stand public scrutiny? That's one reason why you'd never be able to hold such a position as a CIO! If you think being a successful CIO is all about selecting technology then you're the one who's not too bright.

    These people make tough decisions that will never please everyone. Often the ability to make the right the decision is not to choose the best technology, but to choose the right partner at the right price at the right time and who can deliver. Very really will the best technology vendor be able to achieve all of these.

    I agree that politics play a big part, and the ability to get on with business leaders and inspire not drive your teams are key leadership traits and I found people like Jeff and Vish to posses these traits.

    Effective IT leaders nowadays need more than just technology acumen, and if you don't know that now then you'll never know it and you'll be resigned to playing with your tech toys and crying as to why no one wants to adopt your views.

    BTW Gartner is key industry and market thermometer, but very few companies Telstra included make purchasing decisions solely based on what industry analyst say.

  • White with two boy......

    ............. and make it snappy !

    Your rant is just full of airy fairy meaningless waffle. In short I suspect it's you who's the aspirational CIO, although your helpdesk shiftwork doesn't give you many free hours in the day to get that elusive certificate 4 in Word you've been hankering for.

    Yes, you guessed it, you're way out of your depth here.

    What say you leave the ponderings for the grown-ups, ok?

    Now run along, there's a good lad.
  • Oh man that's funny.


    You rock man.