Commenting on the new appointment, Budde said that there had been no visible signs that Penn was about to go, but Telstra would probably have been working on the change for a while.
"Telstra is really good at organising smooth internal CEO successions," Budde said. "They have a excellent pool of talented C level people and there is no longer the ego element that, for example, played a key role in Telstra’s leadership with Sol Trujillo in the mid-00s."
Trujillo was appointed as Telstra chief in 2005 and lasted until 2009 when he was replaced by David Thodey.
Budde said Penn was a person with financial nous and a realist. "He concentrated on what Telstra was, rather than what it could be. If we look at the massive investment failures of the company in the period 1990 – 2005, then we could classify that period as one where Telstra wanted to be another company," he noted.
He said Penn saw Telstra for what it was: "a telecommunications company that, of course, had to modernise itself with all of the new IT technologies, but a company that remained a telco."
Due to competition from big digital firms like Google, Facebook and Amazon, Telstra needed to become leaner and meaner, and that meant it had to focus on costs, Budde said.
"The new players all can deliver new digital services at a fraction of the costs of the telcos and, in order to survive, telcos around the world have to reduce their costs very significantly.
"A successful strategy to make that happen within Telstra was established by Penn and this cost transformation is still continuing.
"As the company’s CFO, Brady has been instrumental in this process and under her leadership this process will, no doubt, continue.
"She already has five years’ experience within Telstra and before that she also worked for other telcos so she is well up-to-date with the challenges and opportunities of these companies."
One headache that Brady would have to deal with - as Penn also experienced - was "the increased monopolist behaviour of the state wholesale provider NBN Co", Budde said.
"The high wholesale costs that such a company can abstract from the market has led to ever-dwindling retail margins. The recent government handout of $480 million to NBN Co for regional services is a good example of this," he added.
"This handout will further undermine the possibilities for the telcos to compete with NBN Co in regional and rural Australia.
"With shrinking retail margins, the internal telco competition will also continue to further heat up, with Optus and TPG both facing the same problem. So, Brady has plenty of work to do.".