Telstra nabs former Juniper CFOO and Tesla board member Denholm for COO role

Australia's largest telco has started to replace the gaps in its senior leadership team with the appointment of Robyn Denholm as its new chief operations officer.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

After a string of departures in 2016 that saw the roles of CIO, CTO, COO, and CISO vacated, Telstra has said it will fill the chief operating officer role in early 2017 with the appointment of Robyn Denholm.

Denholm joins Australia's incumbent telco after a 9-year stint as Juniper Networks chief financial and operations officer, and 11 years with Sun Microsystems before that. Denholm is also a board member of Tesla and Swiss robotics company ABB.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the telco had made a world class appointment.

"Robyn has a proven track record as a global COO in a business focused on telecommunications networks. She has overseen business model transformation, supply chain, and broader business process re-engineering," Penn said.

"She also brings strong understanding of the Australian market and Telstra as the leading network provider, as Juniper has been a valued partner of Telstra."

Denholm will take over COO responsibilities from Telstra group executive global enterprises and services Brendon Riley, who had been filling the role on an interim basis following the retirement of COO Kate McKenzie in July.

This year has also seen the resignation of CIO Erez Yarkoni, the departure of CTO Vish Nandlall amid reports of CV fraud, and former chief information security officer Mike Burgess leave the company.

In October, the telco apologised to its customers and shareholders following seven outages over the first half of the year.

The company said previously it would spend an additional AU$250 million to improve network resilience.

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