Sol Trujillo rides off into the Mexican sunset taking with him a suspected $20 million dollar bon voyage payout, while incoming CEO, David Thodey, is left to pick up the pieces and rekindle the severed relationship left behind between Telstra and the Australian Federal Government. The appointment of Thodey has also seen the resignation of Donald McGauchie, which is effective immediately, along with the appointment of Catherine Livingstone who will take on the company’s chair.
David Thodey was a likely internal candidate to succeed Trujillo. For one, he is an Australian who knows the Australian environment, and possibly a key that won Mr Thodey the board’s vote over three other rivals, including a British executive, was his close relationship with many key Government officials. To the contrary of Mr Trujillo, David Thodey has a calm nature and was not closely associated with Mr Trujillo, so this should also give him a great advantage in the political arena.
Trujillo was essentially hated by the Australian Federal Government. He only had himself to blame for being dropped from the Christmas Card mailing list as his hostile approach to the Australian Telecommunication environment and Federal Government made Trujillo highly unpopular. What’s more, in his time at Telstra since 2005, Good ol Sol personally axed 10,000 Telstra Jobs and was not liked by the ACCC, unions, customers or his own employees. His tenure at Telstra also witnessed the nose dive of Telstra shares by more than 25%, so I guess its safe to say that many Australian Mum’s and Dad’s are also on the list.
David Thodey has definitely got a huge work load ahead of him if he’s going too turn the tide. On his list of priorities will be the new National Broadband Network and the looming Structural Separation of Telstra whilst fending off concerns raised by investors. He certainly appears to have the port folio to pull it off and we wish him well.
David Thodey Background Summary
Kellogg Post-Graduate School General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University in New Zealand
Pre 2001 – Chief Executive Officer IBM Australia / New Zealand (22 year career)
2001 – Group Managing Director of Telstra Mobile of Telstra Corp
2003 – Group Managing Director of Telstra Business and Government of Telstra Corp