Telstra announces new head of technology

Deutsche Telekom's chief product and innovation officer will be making the jump to Telstra to head up the Australian telco's Product and Technology division.

Telstra has announced the appointment of its new group executive of Product and Technology, choosing Deutsche Telekom chief product and innovation officer Christian von Reventlow, who will commence his role on November 1.

In announcing the role, Telstra pointed to von Reventlow's expertise across artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality, digital twins, and edge computing.

"Von Reventlow has spent more than three years in this role, responsible for accelerating innovation, simplifying the product and service portfolio, digitising core processes, and transforming culture," Telstra said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Thursday.

Von Reventlow has also held roles at Intel, Bosch Telecom, and Avaya, with Telstra CEO Andy Penn saying he has expertise across mobile, cloud, software, and hardware solutions.

"I am very pleased to have someone with Christian's product credentials coming on board to deliver innovative and simple product experiences for customers that will lead the market and drive profitable growth," Penn added.

"He will be accountable for Telstra's products strategy, product lifecycle, and technology and innovation where products are incubated and brought to scale."

Telstra had in July announced its first leadership changes amid its Telstra2022 restructure that will see 8,000 jobs axed in total, with CFO Warwick Bray and group executive of Technology, Innovation, and Strategy Stephen Elop among the first to go.

Also going are group general counsel Will Irving and group executive of Media Joe Pollard.

"I would like to recognise the significant contributions Warwick, Will, Stephen, and Joe have made to Telstra and thank them for their dedication to Telstra collectively over the years," Penn said in July.

"We are fundamentally re-engineering how Telstra operates, and our new organisational structure and operating model are designed to remove complexity and management layers, decrease the focus on hierarchical decision making, and increase the focus on empowered teams making decisions closer to the customer."

Bray and Irving will leave the company on September 30, while Elop finished up on July 31 and Pollard on August 30.

Among the leadership restack are the appointments of COO Robyn Denholm as Telstra's new chief financial officer and head of strategy, while Brendon Riley will be CEO of Telstra InfraCo.

Michael Ebeid, Optus alum and currently the CEO and managing director of SBS, will join Telstra on October 8 to run the Enterprise team; while Nikos Katinakis, the EVP of Networks for Indian telco Reliance Jio, will begin work at the telco in mid-October to head up Networks and IT following the departure of group managing director of Networks Mike Wright at the end of September.

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