Telstra grabs Qantas CIO

update Fiona Balfour Australia's largest telecommunications company today announced it had appointed Fiona Balfour as its chief information officer (CIO).Balfour, who has spent the past 14 years at Australia's largest airline and the last five as the company's CIO, will take up her position in April, according to Telstra's chief executive officer (CEO) Sol Trujillo.

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Fiona Balfour
Australia's largest telecommunications company today announced it had appointed Fiona Balfour as its chief information officer (CIO).

Balfour, who has spent the past 14 years at Australia's largest airline and the last five as the company's CIO, will take up her position in April, according to Telstra's chief executive officer (CEO) Sol Trujillo.

According to Trujillo, Balfour will report to chief operations officer (COO) Greg Winn and be responsible for "leading Telstra's centralised IT organisation and core IT programs as well as overseeing the company's operations support system and business support system projects over the next 3-5 years".

Trujillo told a press conference this morning Balfour would not report directly to him as Winn's task was to achieve -full integration" between the disparate elements of Telstra's IT systems and networks. "It's ... so Greg can be the chief integrator, and as I call him, the chief plumber," Trujillo said.

Balfour joined Qantas in 1992 as a senior IT executive and over the past five years has replaced a significant amount of legacy technology and negotiated several outsourcing partnerships -- including one with Telstra worth AU$750 million -- that now service Qantas's data centre, global and domestic networks and desktop systems.


Vish Padmanabhan

Telstra has also effectively demoted Vish Padmanabhan, who the company said has "accepted" the role of deputy CIO after joining the company in 2004 and being elevated to the position of CIO almost a year ago.