Friday, 20 February 2015 10:52

Massive news: Penn is big new Telstra CEO

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Telstra has clearly been pencilling in a new CEO for some time, but today it has made the announcement official - Andrew Penn will start on May 1.

Has Telstra’s penultimate new CEO been announced, now that the pendulum has swung on David Thodey’s outstanding leadership at Telstra?

Clearly, the announcement would have previously been pending board approval, but any pent up anticipation over Penn’s appointment wouldn’t quite have dissipated yet, as David Thodey remains in the role until 1 May 2015.

iTWire CommsWire Editor Graeme Philipson penned an article earlier this morning with the details of Penn’s appointment, covering Penn's extensive executive experience over more than three decades.

Andrew Penn has a tough act to follow, for in his role as CEO, David Thodey truly soared. Still, we wonder if, in the end, the Penn is mightier.

We await to see how quickly Penn can fix the state of Australia’s penurious NBN network.

We await to see how Penn might further penalise the Australian Federal Government for not simply giving Telstra the NBN job in the first place over a decade ago, and instead subjecting Australians to the current NBN mess.

Whether he can make politicians feel any penitence is yet to be seen.

And, with a first-year salary of $2.325 million, and presumably plenty more than simply pay-rise pennies will ensure Penn will never become a pensioner - even if plenty of his customers will fall into that category, especially with Australia’s ageing population.

The job of being Telstra CEO isn’t easy, of course. Not being a CEO myself, however, I can only imagine it is vastly harder than being a pentathlete.

Still, when you’re earning more than enough money to live in any penthouse you might imagine, you’ve clearly earned it - no point us being too pensive about it save for wondering how we might scale such heights of success ourselves.

Well, before Telstra’s PR people put me into the penitentiary for indulging my typed-up penmanship, let me be the latest among many to wish Andrew Penn success in his new position as head of Australia’s most powerful telecommunications company.

It will clearly be an extremely difficult job in tough economic and fast moving technological times, so we wish Penn a very firm grip on the tiller.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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