NBN Co loses its second construction head

The company charged with rolling out Australia's National Broadband Network has removed the role of head of construction in a restructure.

Dan Flemming, NBN Co's head of construction, has left the company following a restructure of the organisation as it moves to ramp up the construction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia.

The change was first reported by The Australian, which alleged that Flemming left after long tensions between himself and NBN Co's Chief Operating Officer Ralph Steffens. NBN Co has denied this.

NBN Co confirmed to ZDNet in a statement that Steffens had made an adjustment to NBN Co's structure in order to meet targets that places commercial and contract management under Business Operations led by Kat Stapleton.

"This allows us to consolidate expertise, as we focus on the vital areas of contract management and rollout delivery within the COO team," NBN Co said.

NBN Co thanked Flemming for his time at the company.

"For almost three years, Dan has been instrumental in developing NBN Co's construction capability. His passion for and commitment to the National Broadband Network has been clearly evident throughout his tenure. Dan's achievements in leading and growing the NBN Co construction organisation are many, and greatly appreciated."

Flemming stepped up to the role in 2011, after the company's first head of construction, Patrick Flannigan, suddenly quit shortly after NBN Co had halted its construction tender process, which it eventually negotiated out with several different companies.

Flannigan himself has resurfaced in the telecommunications industry. After leaving NBN Co to join IT consultancy firm UXC , the firm sold off its field solutions group in 2011, which became Utility Services Group (USG) headed up by Flannigan. He told industry publication Communications Day today that USG was looking to pick up contracts in the rollout and maintenance of the telecommunications networks. He has even recruited NBN Co's former-head of operations, Steve Christian, as a non-executive director.

Within NBN Co, the company has moved General Manager for Implementation Richard Thorpe to the new role of executive general manager for construction, reporting to Steffens. Prior to working at NBN Co, Thorpe worked with BT Openreach and Level 3 Communications.