Optus announces new CEO

Optus has appointed current NBN chief Stephen Rue as its new CEO, with effect from November.

As chief of the National Broadband Network, Rue is currently the highest-paid public servant in the country – earning over $3 million, including short-term bonuses, during the last financial year. He joined the NBN as CFO in 2014, before becoming CEO in 2018.

Optus Chairman Paul O’Sullivan said, “Stephen was chosen after a rigorous process that involved a slate of high-quality candidates.

“We’re extremely pleased to have someone of his calibre to lead the next chapter at Optus. His experience in setting up the digital backbone of Australia will serve us well as we reinvigorate Optus as Australia’s leading challenger telecommunications brand. We expect Stephen’s operational and financial background to lift service standards significantly for the benefit of our customers.”

Stephen Rue said, “I’m honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to lead Optus, a company that has strived to serve Australians for over two decades. Optus’ continuous investments in critical infrastructure through the years has resulted in an extensive 5G network that is being strengthened in regional Australia.

“My job will be to take care of Optus’ customers, people and business and to provide strong competition and choice. I look forward to accelerating the transformation at Optus so fellow Australians continue to have the choice of a strong alternative telecoms provider and the country as a whole can harness the power of digital connectivity to drive economic participation and social inclusion.”

Michael Venter will continue as interim CEO, a role he has held since November 2023.

Optus Chairman Paul O’Sullivan added, “I would like to thank Michael Venter for his leadership as acting CEO during this interim period. He has been unstinting in his efforts to rebuild customer trust and strengthen the business and will remain an asset to Optus going forward.”

The move comes after the resignation of Kelly Bayer Rosmarin in November last year following the disaster outage last year that left 10 million customers without the ability to make phone calls or access the internet.


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