Friday, 09 October 2015 12:46

Telstra's new executive team in place Featured

Dr Karsten Wildberger, Telstra Dr Karsten Wildberger, Telstra

The Andy Penn management restructure at Telstra continues with the appointment of three senior executives following the announcement that Retail Group Executive Gordon Ballantyne will leave the telco at the end of this year.

Penn says the new appointments, which include a successor to Ballanytne, align with Telstra’s strategic growth agenda.

The shuffle at the top sees Dr Karsten Wildberger elevated from his current role as Group Managing Director Consumer and acting Group Managing Director Products to replace Ballantyne as Group Executive Retail.

The two other appointments – both women - see Cynthia Whelan move into the role of Group Executive International and New Businesses from her current job as Group Managing Director Strategic Finance and acting Group Executive International.

And, Joe Pollard becomes Chief Marketing Officer and Group Executive Media, moving from the current role as Group Managing Director Media and Marketing.

A former partner and managing director with The Boston Consulting Group, Dr Wildberger joined Telstra in January 2013 as GMD Consumer and also assumed accountability as GMD Products from May 2015.

He also held executive vice president roles in finance, sales and marketing for Deutsche Telekom in the UK and Germany and senior leadership positions with Vodafone, including Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO in Romania.

Dr Wildberger is a Director of the Telstra Foundation and Telstra Ventures.

Penn said Dr Wildberger will manage the retail business including consumer and business divisions, product and digital business units with broader enterprise-wide responsibilities and a “strong focus on customer advocacy”. The portfolio represents a significant portion of Telstra’s revenue and profit.

In her new role, Whelan’s responsibilities will include driving growth initiatives into new markets, including Telstra Health, Telstra Ventures, Smart Home Solutions and new premium services, as well as Telstra’s international operations.

Penn said responsibilities for Strategic Finance, including mergers and acquisitions, will remain with Chief Financial Officer Warwick Bray.

Whelan joined Telstra in 2013 from her role as CEO of Barclays in Australia and New Zealand since, and previously led Debt Capital Markets for Barclays across Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

Whelan’s investment banking career included roles at Merrill Lynch and UBS in Australia, and she is a Director on the Board of Autohome and the Chair of Telstra Ventures.

Penn said Pollard will continue to lead all of Telstra’s media and marketing functions including the Chief Marketing Office.

Pollard joined Telstra in November 2014 as GMD Media and Marketing after an extensive career in marketing, media and digital in Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, United States and Japan. She also worked with Nike globally, Nine Entertainment Co, was CEO of ninemsn and CEO of advertising group Publicis Mojo. She is also non-executive director of AMP Bank.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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