NBNCo chief executive Mike Quigley has quit.
The former Alcatel CEO, who came out of retirement to run the company rolling out the national broadband network, is well liked by many in the technology sector but has been the subject of mounting speculation in recent months. NBNCo announced a delay in the rollout earlier this year, and has been facing more logistical problems in recent months with the discovery of asbestos in pits where workers were installing cabling.
Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has made no secret of his dislike for Quigley, and signalled that the company’s senior management would have a broom run through it if the Coalition was in office after the forthcoming election.
He said in April that Quigley was the “wrong person for the job,” and said that if the Coalition was in office “here will be considerable changes in the management level [of NBNCo]. As far as the board is concerned, I think you can assume there will be very considerable changes there.”
Betting website Sportsbet recently started taking bets on his replacement.
The new communications minister, deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese, expressed his support for Quigley just last week.
Quigley said in a statement: “My job was to lay the foundations for the NBN for the next 30 years. That job is largely complete. NBN Co is now a well- established wholesale telecommunications company with a nationwide workforce, delivery partners, infrastructure agreements, complex IT systems and more than 40 retail customers which are supplying fast, reliable and affordable broadband to a growing number of Australians.
“The role of the next CEO will be to build on these foundations. It is now critical that we further strengthen our partnerships across the construction and telecommunications industries, as we escalate the build of the network and work closely with our retail customers to ensure a smooth migration of families and businesses to the NBN.
“I joined NBN Co because I believed better telecommunications was central to Australia’s ongoing success. I still believe that today. The ramp-up in construction and the news last week that the company had passed more than 200,000 premises with fibre gives me further confidence that the NBN build can be delivered by 2021 in line with the projections in the company’s Corporate Plan.”
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