​Telstra's cloud director steps into CIO role

Telstra has appointed its executive director for cloud Erez Yarkoni as its new chief information officer, filling the gap left by Patrick Eltridge, who stepped away from the role at the end of November.

Telstra's executive director for cloud Erez Yarkoni has been appointed as its new chief information officer, after acting in the role over the past three months.

The telco's CIO position was left vacant when Patrick Eltridge finished up with Telstra in late November last year, four years after joining the company in 2010.

Yarkoni has been the company's head of cloud since October 2013, a role in which he claims overall responsibility for cloud across Telstra, both domestically and globally.

Given the importance of the company's ongoing cloud strategy, Yarkoni will continue to lead its cloud division while taking on his CIO duties.

Under his tenure, Telstra's cloud division joined forces with Cisco to launch its own cloud services, becoming the first global partner for the Cisco Evolved Services Platform in the process.

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Telstra's new CIO Erez Yarkoni (Image: Telstra)

Yarkoni, who graduated in Israel with a degree in mathematics and computer science, went on to study for an MBA in the United States. He has had more than 20 years of experience in the software and telecommunications sectors, ranging from large corporations to startup environments.

He has held senior leadership positions for large global companies, including as division president at Amdocs Inc, and CIO for T-Mobile USA.

According to Telstra's chief operations officer Kate McKenzie, who welcomed Yarkoni to the role, the new appointment will see Yarkoni divide his time between Australia and the United States.

"In keeping with Telstra's global aspirations, I am pleased to appoint a truly global and highly regarded IT executive," said McKenzie. "Erez will share his time between Sydney and the west coast of the United States, which will provide a unique opportunity for him to lead our team in Australia, while working even more closely with Telstra's global teams and partners.

"I regard this as a significant and positive step forward for Telstra, particularly at this point in time, as we're becoming even more reliant on our IT capabilities to shape Telstra's future in this fast-changing environment," she said.

Yarkoni's appointment is effective immediately.