Bill Morrow appointed as NBN Co CEO

NBN Co has confirmed that Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow will be the company's new CEO in 2014.

Vodafone Australia will lose its CEO and transformation expert Bill Morrow to the new-look NBN Co at the start of 2014 as he takes on the role of CEO of the government-owned company.

Morrow, who has been the CEO of the troubled mobile telecommunications company for close to two years, was appointed by the NBN Co board to lead the new NBN Co under the Coalition government.

In his time in Australia, Morrow was tasked to transform Vodafone while it continued to shed hundreds of thousands of customers, and thousands of its own staff. Morrow has said in the past that the aim would be to bring Vodafone back to profitability and growth in 2014.

Although Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had said that he would recruit Australian telecommunications industry veterans, NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski said in a statement that Morrow has the skills required for the job.

"I am delighted that a senior business leader of the calibre of Bill Morrow has agreed to accept the challenge of delivering the long-promised upgrade to Australia's broadband infrastructure. Bill's experience extends not only to running major telecommunications businesses, but, from his time at Clearwire in the United States, also building a large-scale network. He possesses the right mix of talent, experience, and deep knowledge of the telecommunications industry to ensure NBN Co can get the job done," Switkowski said in a statement.

Morrow, who has frequently lobbied the government to focus on mobile backhaul investment and tower sharing for mobile telcos as part of the NBN project, said he is looking forward to working hard at NBN Co.

"I staunchly believe that this important initiative, done right, will provide a boon to the nation's economy. The digital revolution is picking up speed. With the right infrastructure and industry collaboration, Australia will reap the benefits for decades to come," he said.

"While I am sad to be leaving a great company like Vodafone, I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and ensuring every Australian is able to benefit from a world-class National Broadband Network."

Switkowski said that Morrow's skills in organisational transformation and change management convinced the NBN Co board that he met the requirements for the CEO role.

More to follow.