NBN boss Stephen Rue named Optus chief following Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation

NBN boss Stephen Rue named Optus chief following Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation
  • PublishedMay 6, 2024

Embattled telecommunications giant Optus has named former National Broadband Network boss Stephen Rue as its next chief executive.

Mr Rue, who has worked for the NBN Co. since 2014, first as chief financial officer and later as chief executive, replaces Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who quit the top job at Optus in November after a network-wide outage earlier that month and a cyber attack in 2022.

The ex-NBN chief, who has resigned from the company, edged out high-profile internal contenders for the role.

Former NSW premier turned Optus executive Gladys Berejiklian, who manages the company’s business arm, chief financial officer Michael Venter, who assumed the role of interim chief executive following Ms Rosmarin’s exit, and freshly appointed chief operating officer Peter Kaliaropoulos were reportedly in the running for the position.

Announcing the appointment, Optus chair Paul O’Sullivan said the telco was pleased to have secured Mr Rue to lead the next chapter at the telco.

“His experience in setting up the digital backbone of Australia will serve us well as we reinvigorate Optus as Australia’s leading challenger telecommunications brand,” Mr O’Sullivan.

“We expect Stephen’s operational and financial background to lift service standards significantly for the benefit of our customers.”

Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who had led Optus’ business arm following her political career, was reportedly a candidate for the top job. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who had led Optus’ business arm following her political career, was reportedly a candidate for the top job. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Mr Rue expressed that taking care of Optus’ customers, people and business would be his priority in the position.

“I look forward to accelerating the transformation at Optus so fellow Australians continue to have the choice of a strong alternative telecoms provider and the country as a whole can harness the power of digital connectivity to drive economic participation and social inclusion,” said Mr Rue, who will start the role in November.

Prior to working at NBN Co, Mr Rue held a variety of roles at News Corp Australia, most prominently as its chief financial officer.

NBN Co’s chief financial officer Philip Knox will serve as interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found, its board advised on Monday.

Coinciding with the announcement was the release of a new governance model by Optus’ Singaporean-based parent Singtel Group.

Optus is working to salvage its reputation after a network-wide outage in 2023 and a cyber attack in 2022. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Optus is working to salvage its reputation after a network-wide outage in 2023 and a cyber attack in 2022. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Under the “decentralised” changes, the Optus chief will report to Mr O’Sullivan – a move designed to ‘empower’ its local business.

“In today’s uncertain economic environment, businesses need greater independence and agility to better navigate the market and we believe the new governance model will set the Optus management up for success and help Optus restore and cement its position as a leading player in the Australian telecommunications market,” Singtel chief Yuen Kuan Moon said.

Last week, Optus inked an agreement with TPG Telecom, owner of the Vodafone brand, to share networks and spectrum to expand its regional coverage that is dominated by rival telco Telstra.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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