Thodey reshuffles Telstra management

Telstra has made a number of customer-focused management changes in preparation for the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), CEO David Thodey announced today.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has made a number of customer-focused management changes in preparation for the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), CEO David Thodey announced today.

David Thodey

David Thodey (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

As the next stage of the telco's "Project New" internal reform, Telstra's sales and retail services workforce will, from 1 August, be combined into a single group known as Telstra Customer Sales and Service.

Telstra Consumer and Telstra Country Wide group managing director Gordon Ballantyne will head up the group as the chief customer officer, with the heads of Telstra's business enterprise and government segments reporting to him.

Telstra's marketing will support the new division, and will be headed up by chief marketing officer Mark Buckman.

"We are investing in a single retail customer-facing workforce that will now be unified in a single team, enabling us to work as one team to serve our customers better, win in the market and become more efficient as we prepare for the National Broadband Network," Thodey said in a statement.

Telstra group managing director Stuart Lee, who has been with the company for over 40 years, has been appointed to take over the role of group managing director of Telstra Wholesale from acting group MD Glenn Osbourne who took on the job when Nerida Caesar announced her departure late last year.

Thodey said that Lee's extensive experience in the company will be beneficial for Telstra as it moves to the NBN world.

"With enormous experience gained over more than 40 years since he joined the organisation as a cadet engineer, Stuart will ensure our wholesale business continues to be strong, successful and focused on providing our wholesale customers with outstanding products and customer service," he said.

Telstra said that due to the agreement with NBN Co to lease ducts, pipes, exchange space and dark fibre, NBN Co is set to become Telstra Wholesale's biggest customer over the 35-year lease period.

Telstra's group general counsel Will Irving will take over the position of Telstra Business managing director from Deena Shiff, who will head up the new Applications and Ventures Group within Telstra.

"Telstra's Applications and Ventures Group will invest and partner with other companies and government agencies at the forefront of innovation to provide a new range of digital services for business and consumers, including in health and education," Thodey said. "Deena has led our highly successful business segment since it was established in 2006, and I have no doubt she will bring the same drive and talent to this new venture."

The company will also create a specialised cloud computing team, following the investment of an additional $800 million in-cloud services announced last month.

Thodey said that the telco's focus on the customer has borne fruit.

"We have made considerable progress over the past two years, especially in the nine months to March 2011 when more than one million Australians returned to Telstra," Thodey said.

"Today's initiatives are further evidence that Telstra is changing by putting our customers first, building new growth businesses, and simplifying the way we get things done."

ZDNet Australia understands that no job cuts are included at this point as part of this announcement; however, Telstra is reviewing divisions as they merge, and attempting to reduce duplication where it exists.

The restructure of management comes just a week after Telstra's chief financial officer John Stanhope announced his intentions to retire at the end of this year. Telstra has yet to announce who will succeed Stanhope in the role.

Telstra has today also launched a new network outages page, where customers can enter their postcode and see whether there is an outage in their area for fixed and mobile services. In the event of a disaster, this service will be expanded to include suburb name searches, and will also include a map highlighting affected areas.

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