Thodey Promises Better Customer Service

After a few months in the job, David Thodey is ready to stamp his mark on Telstra by rejigging the company

Telstra CEO David Thodey today announced organisational changes in the first big reshuffle since he took control of the telecommunications giant, including a new Customer Satisfaction, Simplification and Productivity unit.

Thodey said the changes were another step towards implementing the strategy that he had outlined to investors and shareholders in recent weeks.

“Today I am taking another step to organise Telstra around our core strategy: to compete in the fastest-growing markets in Australia and overseas, lead the industry by investing in new products and services, and deliver a better experience for our valued customers,” Thodey said.

Changes include:

  • The creation of two new product units, headed by Justin Milne and Philip Jones, to enable Telstra to compete effectively in fixed and mobile markets.

  • The creation of a new International unit, headed by Tarek Robbiati, that will take geographic and operational responsibility for CSL, Reach, Telstra’s businesses in China, international sales and business development.

  • The consolidation of network, technology and IT functions and the appointment of Michael Rocca as acting Chief Operations Officer.

  • The appointment of Robert Nason to lead a new Customer Satisfaction, Simplification & Productivity unit responsible for improving customer service.

  • The creation of an Operating Committee, comprising the heads of customer-facing and product units, to meet weekly and focus on business performance.

Thodey welcomed Robert Nason to the new position as head of Customer Satisfaction, Simplification & Productivity.  Mr Nason has 18 years experience consulting to the telecommunications industry, leading and managing assignments in the areas of strategy, operations, productivity improvement and transformation.  He will join Telstra in February 2010 from Tabcorp, where he has been Managing Director, Wagering.

Thodey also announced that Holly Kramer, Group Managing Director, Telstra Product Management, had decided to leave Telstra to pursue other opportunities.

Thodey said Telstra’s product portfolio would be divided into two specialist groups: PSTN, Fixed Broadband, BigPond & Media to be headed by Justin Milne; and Wireless, Data, Applications & Services to be headed by Philip Jones on an acting basis.

Thodey said the new International unit headed by Tarek Robbiati would bring together all of Telstra’s Asian assets and expertise into one dedicated unit for the first time.  He said Sensis would remain responsible for product expertise within the Chinese media assets.  Mr Thodey also said that Telstra would operate its New Zealand and Australian businesses as part of a single trans-Tasman market.