NBN Co's Kaiser shafted for ex-Telstra exec Rousselot

Labor-affiliated Mike Kaiser has had his role in NBN Co replaced by a new role for friend of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, JB Rousselot.

The controversial Labor-picked NBN Co head of quality, Mike Kaiser, will leave the organisation effective immediately, after executive chair Dr Ziggy Switkowski announced that he would be replaced by ex-Telstra executive and friend of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, JB Rousselot.

Rousselot had long been expected to take on a role with the company, after he left his executive director of media role at Telstra in May this year to return to France. Rousselot will join the company in the new role of head of strategy and transformation, leading the company through its 60-day review to be completed by early December.

"Rousselot will help oversee the continuing transition process as NBN Co moves to deliver the government's policy of deploying a broader mix of technologies to ensure every Australian is able to receive very fast broadband," Switkowski said in a statement.

The 60-day review will then have its recommendations incorporated into NBN Co's 2014-17 corporate plan. The company had produced a draft corporate plan update for this year; however, the then-Labor Cabinet did not have time to consider it before the election. Turnbull has subsequently said that the plan cannot be relied upon.

Rousselot, who worked with Turnbull in the 1990s at Ozemail, will join NBN Co at the expense of the controversial Labor-appointee Mike Kaiser, who initially came to the company as the head of government relations, but ended up as the head of quality. The latter position was made redundant as part of Rousselot's appointment.

Former Labor official, Kaiser's appointment to the AU$450,000 per-year role had sparked controversy from the Coalition at the time, with Liberal Senator Eric Abetz stating that the appointment at that payrate was "outrageous".

ZDNet has asked NBN Co for details on Rousselot's remuneration at the company, a spokesperson for NBN Co said that the salary will be disclosed in NBN Co's annual report next year.

Switkowski thanked Kaiser for his time with NBN Co.

"Kaiser was one of NBN Co's first employees and has fulfilled important leadership roles in the formation of NBN Co and its development over four years. He is a well-regarded and committed executive, having worked across the company on many of its biggest initiatives. I thank him for his many contributions and wish him well for the next phase of his career," he said.