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Telstra shuffles investment group as Shiff departs

The departure of long-time Telstra executive Deena Shiff has resulted in two executives looking after the Applications and Ventures Group.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has announced that, after close to 15 straight years with Telstra and being the first woman appointed to a senior leadership role in Telstra, Applications and Ventures Group Managing Director Deena Shiff will step down from her role.

Deena Shiff. (Credit: Telstra)

Shiff, who has been in charge of the venture capital arm of Telstra since it was created in 2011, will move into a non-executive career and into directorships, Telstra said.

The venture arm of Australia's largest telco will fall under the guidance of Telstra Innovation Products Group Managing Director Kate McKenzie and Chief Financial Officer Andy Penn. Matthew Koertge, the managing director for the division's Australian office ,and Mark Sherman, the managing director for the US office, will lead the team and will be on the venture business' board.

Shiff will remain as an adviser to the group and will be on the board of directors for its investment companies, Telstra said. Shiff started her career at the Overseas Telecommunications Commission in 1989, which became Telstra in 1992. After a stint in law firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques in the mid-to-late 90s, Shiff rejoined Telstra in 1998 as the director of regulatory. In 2001, Shiff became the first woman appointed to Telstra's senior executives, being made the group managing director of Telstra Wholesale.

Sticking with the company throughout the Sol Trujillo era, she ultimately took on the Applications and Ventures Group managing director role in a massive reshuffle by CEO David Thodey in 2011. That change saw the company increasingly move to focus on cloud computing and investment in start-ups.

Thodey today thanked Shiff for her time with the company.

"We wish Deena well as she embarks on a new stage of her career, and continues to champion new and emerging digital businesses," he said in a statement.

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