NBN appoints CFO Stephen Rue as new CEO

NBN has announced that its CFO Stephen Rue will step into the CEO role following the departure of Bill Morrow at the start of September.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced that its chief financial officer Stephen Rue will step into the CEO role following the departure of Bill Morrow on September 1.

"Given the unique nature of the NBN access network and the Australian telecommunications environment, with the end of the build phase only two years away, the board concluded that an internal candidate with firsthand experience of driving change and improvement throughout the company would be best placed to help ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband by 2020," NBN said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Rue has served as CFO for NBN since mid-2014, after filling the same role at News Corp Australia for 10 years. His salary as NBN CEO will be AU$1.8 million in base pay, with a 50 percent annual incentive for reaching key milestones.

"I congratulate Stephen on his appointment, and am very pleased that he is available and enthusiastic to succeed Bill Morrow as CEO," NBN chair Ziggy Switkowski said.

"With the network construction moving through a critical phase en route to completion in 2020, the board considered Stephen's experience, including at NBN Co, and skills in financial, operational, and project management, to be especially well suited to the challenge.

"The appointment of a quality internal candidate reduces the risk of loss of momentum in the business from the leadership change, and ensures continuing ownership and accountability for delivery of the NBN Co Corporate Plan."

NBN is set to publish its 2018-19 Corporate Plan next week, after last week announcing revenue almost doubling during the 2018 financial year, growing by 98 percent to AU$1.978 billion from last year's AU$1 billion, with 99 percent of the nation now in design, construction, or complete.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) sat at negative AU$2 billion, a 15 percent improvement on last year's negative AU$2.4 billion, while average revenue per user (ARPU) rose from AU$43 to AU$44 per month.

Read also: Fibre to the curb: How NBN is delivering its new network

Revenue from every technology grew thanks to increasing customer numbers, with AU$536 million from fibre to the node (FttN), up from AU$172 million; AU$618 million from CVC/NNI, up from AU$299 million; AU$444 million from fibre to the premises (FttP), up from AU$369 million; AU$120 million from hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), up from AU$13 million; AU$70 million from fixed-wireless, up from AU$50 million; and AU$30 million from satellite, up from AU$19 million.

As of June 30, NBN had 8.1 million premises ready for service, 7 million premises ready to connect, and 4 million active premises. Active end users numbered 2 million on FttN, 1.2 million on FttP, 414,703 on HFC, 240,084 on fixed-wireless, and 90,327 on satellite.

Across the new fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) network, which will eventually cover 1.5 million premises across the nation, NBN now has 174,161 premises ready for service, and 75,387 ready to connect.

Rue had last week revealed NBN's new wholesale fixed-wireless pricing -- AU$45 for existing customers and AU$65 for new customers on the 50/20Mbps speed tier -- during a joint standing committee hearing; however, after backlash the company retreated.

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