Optus set for CEO switch in April 2020 as Lew heads to Thailand

Current deputy CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin to step up when Allen Lew takes over Singtel Thai associate AIS.

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Optus CEO Allen Lew

Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Singtel has announced it will hand the reins of its Australian Optus operation to Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who will become the CEO of Optus and head of Singtel Consumer Australia, when current CEO Allen Lew takes on the newly-created mantle of CEO of group strategy and business development at Singtel, and will also be the country chief officer of Thailand, as well as the chair the executive committee of Thai associate telco AIS. 

Bayer Rosmarin took on the deputy role at the start of the year and was previously a Commonwealth Bank of Australia group executive for institutional banking and markets for just under five years until July last year. Rosmarin had been with the bank since 2003. She is also a board member of Football Australia, as well as a part of the Department of Treasury's FinTech Advisory Group, and the New South Wales government's Digital Advisory Panel.

Lew joined Optus as CEO in 2014, after having been with Singtel since 1980, and previously had a stint as COO at AIS.

"Kelly brings a unique blend of technology, commercial, and management expertise from a career spanning financial services, management consulting and the Silicon Valley tech sector to Optus," Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said.

"She will build on the success of Optus that has flourished under Allen's dynamic leadership, particularly as we move into the next phase of 5G-powered growth. Allen's standout tenure at Optus has made it the go-to operator in Australia for great connectivity, innovative services, and exciting content."

In its latest results, Singtel recorded a SG$668 million net loss for the second quarter to September 30, due to an October ruling by the Supreme Court of India that led to Indian telcos coughing up $13 billion in fees which undid increases in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation and increases in associate revenue.

AIS saw its revenue increase by 31% to SG$103 million for the quarter.

Last week, Optus announced a mobile plan simplification, which eschewed from charging extra for 5G.

On Monday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission collected another victory over Optus, with the company to pay a AU$6.4 million fine for misleading its customers over NBN disconnections.

At the start of 2019, Optus was also hit with a AU$10 million fine by the Federal Court after it admitted to misleading consumers and breaching the ASIC Act for its third-party billing practices.

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