‘I don’t know that resignations are the answer’: Why Optus, not just the CEO, needs to be held accountable

After much speculation about her position since the recent nationwide outage disaster, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin resigned as Optus CEO effective immediately today.

While Bayer Rosmarin has been on the receiving end of a large amount of criticism in regard to how she dealt with the crisis and communicated with the 10 million customers impacted by the outage – including during a Senate hearing last Friday – it remains to be seen how the telco giant will bounce back.

On the latest episode of the Mumbrellacast, Mumbrella publisher Adam Lang said he wasn’t convinced that Bayer Rosmarin stepping down would help Optus in the long term.

“You have to look at what is the operational learning and what are the operational lessons that can be taken from this,” Lang said.

“If a resignation happens, it’s a temporary fix, right? It’ll alleviate some pressure.”

Lang referenced the recent Qantas debacle which saw the company’s share price go up 10% after chairman Richard Goyder and three other long-term directors announced their resignation last month.

“There were a couple of resignations that were called for then but neither of them were the CEO. [Former CEO] Alan Joyce had left before that time. And so, I don’t know that resignations are the answer” he explained.

“I think the brand, no matter who’s the custodian of the executive positions, has to be responsible for itself. And in that mind, the board are responsible for oversight. And appointing the key executives, so this is really a matter for the board.”

Following Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation today, Optus confirmed it had appointed chief financial officer, Michael Venter, as interim CEO as the telco looks to find a permanent replacement.

Former Optus business managing director, Peter Kaliaropoulos, will also return to the business on Wednesday in the newly created role of chief operating officer, reporting to the interim CEO.

Listen to the full Mumbrellacast here.


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