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Optus replaces head of consumer marketing and product

After losing its head of Consumer to Telstra, Optus has promoted from within to fill the role governing its entertainment offerings, among other responsibilities.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Optus has revealed the next managing director of Marketing and Product for its Consumer division, with the telecommunications provider promoting Ben White to a role that will include responsibility for its TV and entertainment services.

In his new role, White will also have control over Optus' mobile and fixed products, brand and communications, analytics and insights, "innovation", and the Virgin Mobile and Vividwireless brands.

"I'm delighted to be appointed to this role. This is an exciting time to be part of Optus and I look forward to leading the team as we continue to transform our brand into a mobile-led entertainment business," White said.

The teams reporting to White are also responsible for product development, marketing strategies, and customer-base management across both Small Business and Consumer divisions.

Despite a "global search" to fill the role left vacant when Telstra headhunted previous exec Vicki Brady in December, Optus promoted from within, with White having served in senior roles for the company's fixed and mobile product and marketing divisions, as well as corporate strategy.

"After a global search, I'm pleased to announce Ben's appointment to this key leadership role. His deep knowledge of Optus and the Australian telecommunications market will ensure we are well positioned to drive consideration of Optus by delivering innovative solutions that entertain customers and enhance their lives," Optus CEO Allen Lew said in a statement.

"Over the past several months, Ben has been the driving force behind Optus' recent successes including Yes TV by Fetch, Optus Music, Home Wireless Broadband, and our refreshed brand. With his extensive product and marketing background, Ben is well-placed to lead the next phase of our transformation, starting with the launch of the English Premier League."

Optus in April announced a series of redundancies allowing a "reshape" of its workforce amid its transformation into a multimedia company rather than a pure telecommunications carrier, which had been kicked off by its acquisition in November of the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the English Premier League for the next three seasons.

Optus has said it will be broadcasting the EPL across its Yes TV platform on a 24/7 channel via the Fetch set-top box and the Apple TV, as well as through apps, a website, and a satellite service for more remote viewers.

As part of its media bid, Optus also announced 10-year deals with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee.

Last week, Optus also appointed former BlackBerry Australia managing director Matthew Ball as its new head of Small and Medium Business.

Optus' consumer business reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$2.46 billion for FY15, up 6.1 percent year on year from AU$2.32 billion, on operating revenue of AU$7.53 billion, up 4.2 percent.

Operating expenditure for consumer was AU$5.16 billion, 3.4 percent more than the AU$4.99 billion reported at the end of March last year.

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