Veteran telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, has expressed his disappointment at the impending departure of Optus CEO Chris Anderson
Budde today described the Optus chief, who plans to step down this coming August, as "the most successful telecoms CEO that our country has seen".
Budde explained that Anderson took on the position at a "very difficult time" for the company, following five reorganisations in the mid-1990s.
"The company lacked a clear direction, their strategies were all over the place and there was a very disillusioned workforce," said Budde. "Chris brought a very powerful management team together and turned the company around within the first 18 months of his regime."
Budde insists that Anderson had a lasting effect on the company's direction, saying his leadership gave focus to the company, promoted staff morale and produced positive business results that still continue today.
"Optus can be used as a management success story not only in Australia but throughout the global telco world, where most of the telcos are still suffering from bad management," said Budde.
According to Budde, the success of Optus has facilitated Singtel to develop into the foremost regional telecommunications provider. He claimed that the company was "several years ahead of others in the region, including Telstra" and was likely to continue to expand.
Optus is currently the largest element of Singtel, and based on its revenue share Budde predicts that it may become the largest mobile company in Australia by 2006.
"It also has now clearly set its aim to repeat its successes in the broadband market. They have already put their market on the corporate and government markets as well as on mobile, but broadband will be their next challenge," said Budde.
Optus has reported an impressive set of financial results for the year ending March 2004, claiming strong growth in net profit, revenue and cash flow, with an increase of market shares in all divisions.
According to SingTel's group results, Optus' Net profit (before exceptional tax items) for the year was AU$440 million, up AU$412 million compared to the previous year's AU$28 million.
Budde says it's now up to his successor, Paul O'Sullivan, to keep the ball rolling.
"The company is in perfect shape to build on its previous successes and it will be very interesting to see if the new CEO Paul O' Sullivan will be able to step into Chris's shoes and take over the bat from him," he said.