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Telstra execs play musical chairs

Telstra chief executive officer David Thodey has announced the results of a wide-ranging executive re-shuffle.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor

Telstra chief executive officer David Thodey today announced the results of a wide-ranging executive re-shuffle.


Kate McKenzie (Credit: Telstra)

The vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group in the UK, Gordon Ballantyne, will join Telstra as its new group managing director of Telstra's Consumer and Channels division from June. He will lead the telco's drive in the consumer market, particularly new fixed-line products as the telco's upcoming T-Hub and T-Box offerings.

Ballantyne was also the director of Dell.com in Europe, as well as a sales and service director at UK mobile telco T-Mobile.

Ballantyne will replace Glenice Maclellan, who has resigned from Telstra due to personal reasons. The executive will remain at Telstra until after Ballantyne's arrival.

In a further restructuring initiative, Thodey has appointed Telstra's group managing director of strategic marketing, Kate McKenzie, to a new role as chief marketing officer. Telstra's major product development units — Wireless, Data, Applications and Services; Mobility Products; and Voice, Broadband and Media — will now report directly to McKenzie.

"Kate will oversee the engine room of product innovation at Telstra," said Thodey. "For the first time, Telstra's product developers will be brought together with those people responsible for the strategy, pricing, promotion and market analysis of those products."

Robert Nason, the company's group MD of Customer Experience, Simplicity and Productivity, will take responsibility for corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions as well as Telstra's Program Office as a result of McKenzie's new product focus.

Thodey said Nason had already started a review of Telstra's operations with the goal of reducing costs and improving competitiveness.

"We are completing five years of heavy investment in new and improved networks and technology," the CEO said. "To fully leverage our position as a technology leader, we now need to review our operating model to ensure we have the most efficient structures and processes in place."

Telstra executive Stuart Lee — who previously headed Telstra's Program Office — has been promoted to group managing director level, and will work directly with Thodey from now on to examine different structural models for the company.

Telstra's Voice, Broadband and Media head Justin Milne has also quit, with J-B Rousselot taking his place.

Telstra is currently discussing with the government and NBN Co the terms under which the telco might migrate customers and infrastructure to the National Broadband Network operator.

In general, Thodey said the changes consolidated Telstra's top executives into four main groups — customer sales and support, product and marketing innovation, operations, and corporate support.

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