NBN Co loses another construction head

NBN Co has lost another head of construction, with Richard Thorpe's departure announced yesterday.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

As NBN Co looks to beat its June fibre construction targets, the company has lost yet another head of construction activity, with Richard Thorpe's departure announced to staff on Tuesday.

Thorpe's departure was announced in an email from NBN Co's new chief operations officer Greg Adcock to staff. The email, seen by ZDNet, and first reported by the Australian Financial Review, stated that Thorpe would be leaving the company after being appointed as the head of construction just over one year ago.

"In that time, he has played a central role in the expansion of the NBN's geographical reach. Please join me in thanking Richard for the contribution he has made to the NBN over the past 15 months as we wish him all the very best for the future," Adcock said.

Thorpe was made executive general manager for construction at the beginning of January last year, as part of a restructure that saw the company's former head of construction Dan Flemming leave the company. NBN Co's first head of construction, Patrick Flannigan, quit in 2011 amid construction contract issues, only to be brought back into the company by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the 2013 election as a new NBN Co board member.

Adcock announced yesterday that NBN Co's general manager for implementation, Peter Ryan, will step up to act in Thorpe's role until a replacement has been found, while NBN Co's business improvement manager, Jan de Kock, will be the acting general manager for implementation.

"Both appointments come into effect immediately and will remain in place for the duration of the COO organisational review," Adcock said.

"I know I can rely on you to give Peter and Jan your full support during this interim period as we work towards transitioning NBN Co to a multi-technology model."

Thorpe's departure comes as NBN Co is pushing to meet its target of 357,000 brownfields premises passed by fibre at the end of June. NBN Co revised this target down from 450,000 when the strategic review was released late last year. ZDNet's analysis of the construction activity from NBN Co shows that the company is on target to easily pass its 357,000 premises goal by the end of June.

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