NBN Co appoints ex-Telstra exec as new CIO

NBN Co has appointed former Telstra CIO John McInerney as its new CIO.

The company charged with rolling out Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced that ex-Telstra CIO John McInerney will be its new CIO after Claire Rawlins' sudden resignation and departure in August this year.

NBN Co confirmed a report in the Australian Financial Review that the former Telstra CIO and current HP executive would step in to the role from December 3, 2012.

"We are delighted to welcome an executive of John's calibre and experience to this important role within the company. Our IT and systems are core to the NBN, and to the operation and delivery of a wholesale network designed to serve the people of Australia for decades to come," NBN Co said in a statement.

McInerney has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications and technology sector. He has been with HP since August last year, where he is currently the vice president of infrastructure technology, based out of Singapore.

McInerney was also the CIO for Telstra between 2008 and 2010, where he quit after several months of leave .

The reason for Rawlins' departure from NBN Co after two years remains a mystery, and NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley declined to explain the reason why she left when was asked last night in a parliamentary hearing.

"We don't comment on particular personnel," he said. "We never talk about why people join or leave."

He wouldn't confirm whether there were issues with NBN Co's AU$200 million operations support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) implemented by IBM , but said that it is a problem faced by every telecommunications company.

"The Achilles' heel, or the bane of the existence for most telcos, is their OSS/BSS systems; they're always difficult," he said.

NBN Co chief operating officer Ralph Steffens said that the system would improve over time.

"The important part is that the basic functionality has been stood up, and it is going pretty well. We have all the functionality required to build the network, to connect customers. We will continuously develop system capability to try to automate system processes."

Quigley said that he could not put a figure on how much the OSS/BSS system would end up costing NBN Co, because it is something that the company is constantly evaluating. He denied a suggestion that the system would cost AU$1.5 billion.