Departed former Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo has called Australia racist and claimed that the local economy had only become "developed" in the last decade.
Speaking to the BBC, Trujillo said about racism: "My point is that that does exist and it's got to change because the world is full of a lot of people and most economies have to take advantage — including Australia — of a diverse set of people. And if there is a belief that only a certain people are acceptable versus others, that is a sad state."
Trujillo pointed to events not cited over the past decade from his own personal experience with racism: "I think it was evidenced in a lot of ways there with me personally, but more importantly with others".
But one event that Trujillo did expand upon was Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's "Adios" response to the news that Trujillo was leaving Telstra. "Many Australians have come up to me and they've apologised, because they're embarrassed by that kind of behaviour," he said.
The former Telstra chief also said that the local business environment was different to that of the US. "In many ways it's like stepping back in time, just simply because of some of the policies, some of the laws that are more recent," he said.
"If you think about privatisation of companies — you know that's only 10 or 15 years old, in terms of what most people would call a developed economy."
He was unrepentant on the issue of CEO pay. "There are always people that will criticise compensation, but these are big jobs with big responsibilities, and somebody needs to do it but they need to be incented to do it otherwise you'll get very mediocre-like people and then you'll get government-like behaviour," he said.
Throughout the interview, Trujillo repeated his belief that innovation occurs in areas free of government intervention. "The internet's not regulated, innovation occurs. Wireless isn't regulated, innovation occurs. Fixed line is regulated, and it's now 100 years old and still moving at a snail's pace."
Last week Trujillo claimed that the National Broadband Network was a fantasy.