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iiNet CTO John Lindsay quietly departs

Australia's third-largest ISP is on the hunt for a new chief technology officer after Lindsay revealed that he left the company at the end of 2013 to start a new career in consultancy.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

iiNet's chief technology officer John Lindsay has quietly departed the company after 13 collective years at the end of 2013 to start a new career in consultancy, he has announced.

Image: David Braue/ZDNet

Lindsay made the announcement in a blog post on December 31, as first reported by Delimiter. The CTO worked at Adelaide-founded internet service provider (ISP) Internode before the company was bought out by iiNet at the end of 2011. He stayed in the role at iiNet for two years, which he said had been a "career highlight".

"Selling Internode, building iiNet a global IP network with around 150 gigabits of lit submarine capacity, rolling out Australia's first live VDSL2 network in Canberra, buying Adam Internet, leading and managing over 150 highly talented and very geeky staff, growing the Wi-Fi network to over 1,000 access points, and being the CTO of a billion-dollar listed company," he said.

"iiNet, Internode, and Adam's maniacal focus on customer service has paid off in customer loyalty, recommendations, and endless awards, and working with the customer service teams has been awesome."

But he said he wouldn't miss the amount of travel associated with the role, nor the responsibility for the half a billion dollars worth of investment in infrastructure in iiNet.

During his time at Internode and iiNet, Lindsay often spoke at industry events and to media, particularly as the issue of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rose to prominence after 2007. Like many in the industry, Lindsay has been supportive of the structural separation of Telstra and the rollout of the NBN, but has criticised many aspects of the former Labor government's project, including the inadequate interim satellite service, and the controversial capacity charge.

"If you build something like a new network that has abundant capacity and then you arbitrarily limit that for commercial ends, you've basically created artificial scarcity," he said in October. "There are people who have literally been waiting since 2006, since OPEL, to get a broadband service in Australia."

Lindsay's departure comes just months after Internode's other remaining high-profile figure — founder Simon Hackett — stepped down from his director position at iiNet to take on a board position at NBN Co following the election of the Coalition government in September, which marked an expected change in the rollout of the project.

A spokesperson for iiNet said the company has not yet found a replacement, but, in the meantime, iiNet's former chief technology officer and now chief business officer Greg Bader would share the responsibilities of the role with iiNet's chief information officer Matthew Toohey.

The pair will have a significant amount of work ahead, with the company reportedly planning to expand out its Wi-Fi network out from Perth and Adelaide into Sydney and Melbourne.

Lindsay's website states that he is aiming to provide consultancy to businesses, and, in particular, startup businesses. In a 2010 interview with ZDNet, Lindsay stated that his love of the technology industry stems from building something.

"Building something that is used by more people than I will ever meet, who show their satisfaction by paying a bill every month and who tell their family and friends how much they love it, is easy to like about working for Internode. Being able to do all that in Adelaide is what I like most," he said.

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