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Telstra CEO David Thodey to retire

After close to six years spent transforming Australia's largest telecommunications company, Telstra CEO David Thodey is set to retire in May, and be replaced by CFO Andy Penn.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra CEO David Thodey has announced his retirement, after close to six years of transforming the telecommunications incumbent.

(Image: Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

Thodey joined Telstra in 2001 as the group managing director of Telstra Mobiles, before moving to the position of group MD for Telstra Enterprise and Government. After the departure of controversial CEO Sol Trujillo in 2009, Thodey rose to the role of CEO, and worked to give a friendlier face to the company. In Thodey's time, Telstra changed into a company that aimed to be more cooperative with the government and customers.

The results show in the millions of mobile customers that the company has accrued over the last six years, as it lowered its premium for mobile services, worked to improve customer service, and rolled out the largest 4G network in Australia.

Thodey also oversaw both iterations of the AU$11 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) agreement signed with the government and NBN Co. The second version will now see Telstra hand over its copper and hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks to NBN Co as part of the multi-technology mix model of the NBN.

Thodey said on Friday that there is still much to do.

"Our journey to being a world-class customer service organisation is generational progress. We have achieved much change, but there is still a lot more to do," he said in a statement.

The company's chief financial officer Andy Penn has been selected by the Telstra board to be the new CEO, effective May 1. Penn joined Telstra in 2011 after 20 years at AXA Asia-Pacific. He replaced long-time CFO John Stanhope.

"We have provided customers with outstanding connectivity choices, a world-class mobile network, and new technology to make their lives easier. Andy is ideally placed to keep Telstra on that journey, and I'm delighted he has been appointed."

Penn's base salary will be AU$2.325 million.

Thodey will assist Penn in transitioning to the CEO role from May 1 until late August.

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