Telstra's Andrew Penn took an axe to his management team

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  • Four senior executives have been axed from Telstra as part of a major restructure.
  • Former SBS CEO Michael Ebeid is one of three senior executives recruited from outside Telstra.
  • CEO Andrew Penn says it’s part of the simplification of products and services built on new technology.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn just axed four senior executives, the first step in a major restructure.

Out are CFO Warwick Bray, Chief Technology Officer Stephen Elop, head of Telstra wholesale business Will Irving, and the head of Telstra Media Joe Pollard.

Among the changes, former SBS CEO Michael Ebeid joins Telstra to run the enterprise team. He is one of three senior executives recruited externally.

The shakeup is the first step in Penn’s plan to lose 8,000 staff over the next three years and strip out several layers of management.

“At the heart of these changes is the simplification of our products and services built on new technology,” Penn says.

“By mid-next year we will have fully rolled out our market leading products and services.”

Penn says the changes will ensure Telstra can innovate and support the build out of 5G and Internet of Things.

“Ultimately the simplified and streamlined structure will remove duplication, hierarchy and silos across the organisation,” he sdays.

“It will help us improve the service that we provide to our customers, the efficiency of the business and our competitiveness, as well as increase our productivity and reduce costs.”

Penn says Product and Technology will drive an integrated product and technology roadmap for all of Telstra to deliver innovative and simple product experiences that lead the market and drive profitable growth.

Here’s the new organisational structure:

Source: Telstra

Telstra’s new Group Executive team:

Michael Ebeid joins Telstra to run the Enterprise team servicing Australian and international business and government customers with market-leading solutions and services. He will start at Telstra on 8 October.

Vicki Brady will continue to lead Consumer & Small Business designing digitally-led propositions for customers, managing customer relationships with superior sales and services capabilities, to acquire new customers and grow Telstra’s base.

Nikos Katinakis joins Telstra in mid-October to lead Networks & IT focused on extending the company’s network and enabling digital experiences. He was most recently Executive Vice President Networks for Reliance Jio in India, where he was responsible for rolling out the first pan-India 4G LTE Network.

Brendon Riley will become the CEO of Telstra InfraCo which will efficiently leverage the InfraCo assets and drive growth in the Wholesale market, while creating future strategic optionality for these highly valuable assets.

David Burns, currently with the Enterprise team, will lead Global Business Services (GBS) to bring together and radically simplify customer service operations and internal support services. GBS will drive a consistent approach to customer experience, efficiency and service levels. David’s appointment is effective today.

Robyn Denholm will move to the role of Chief Financial Officer & Head of Strategy. She will support the CEO to drive the company’s overall strategy

Alex Badenoch, Transformation & People will lead the T22 strategy transformation execution as well as drive the way the company works and operates, strengthening employee engagement. A Transformation Delivery Office has also been established to deliver an integrated and disciplined approach to implementation.

Carmel Mulhern, Legal & Corporate Affairs will continue in her role engaging external stakeholders, including relationships with government and community. Carmel will also continue to hold the office of Group General Counsel and manage the internal provision of legal advice.

Still to be announced is a third outside hire to head Product & Technology. Penn says the name of the person will be announced shortly.

Penn says the T22 restructure is a multi-year transformation program.

“We are fundamentally re-engineering how Telstra operates, and our new organisational structure and operating model are designed to remove complexity and management layers, decrease the focus on hierarchical decision-making and increase the focus on empowered teams making decisions closer to the customer,” he says.

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