Optus CEO resigns effective immediately

Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, CEO of Optus, has resigned effective immediately, just three days after deflecting questions about her position in a Senate committee hearing.

The news comes following Optus’ disaster outage earlier in the month, that left 10 million customers without the ability to make phone calls or access the internet.

In a statement sent by Singtel Group, Optus’ parent company, Bayer Rosmarin said it had been an honour serving as Optus CEO, but it was an appropriate time to step down.

Bayer Rosmarin at last week’s Senate committee hearing

“On Friday I had the opportunity to appear before the Senate to expand on the cause of the network outage and how Optus recovered and responded. I was also able to communicate Optus’ commitment to restore trust and continue to serve customers. Having now had time for some personal reflection, I have come to the decision that my resignation is in the best interest of Optus moving forward,” she said.

“It’s been an honour and privilege to lead the team at Optus and to serve our customers. I am proud of the team’s many achievements, and grateful for the support of the Optus team, Moon, and the Group. I wish everyone and the company every success in the future.”

Yeun Kuan Moon, CEO of Singtel Group, said: “Optus appointed Kelly at the beginning of the pandemic, and we acknowledge her leadership, commitment and hard work throughout what has been a challenging period and thank her for her dedication and service to Optus.

“Kelly has always led with integrity and had all stakeholders’ best interests at heart. We understand her decision and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

“We recognise the need for Optus to regain customer trust and confidence as the team works through the impact and consequences of the recent outage and continues to improve. Optus’ priority is about setting on a path of renewal for the benefit of the community and customers,” he said.

At last week’s Senate committee hearing, Bayer Rosmarin dodged questions from Senator Sarah Henderson on such reports.

“I’m sure you can appreciate my entire focus has been on restoring the outage issue. It has not been a time to be thinking about myself,” she said.

“My focus is on the team, the customers, the community. My focus is not on myself.”

Bayer Rosmarin was also grilled by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the hearing, who suggested Optus’ explanation for the outage – claiming it related to parent company Singtel – was rejected by Singtel, with Bayer Rosmarin pushing back, saying it was “not a contradiction, but a clarification.”

Hanson-Young responded to Bayer-Rosmarin: “For a communications company, the communication has been pretty lousy.”

Optus has today 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.

“Optus is an integral part of our group’s business. We view the events in recent weeks very seriously. We fully recognise the importance of Optus’ role in providing connectivity services to the community and the importance of network resiliency and security,” said Moon.

“That is a top priority in all markets where our companies operate in. I have every confidence our Optus team will exert all efforts to deliver for customers and regain their trust and confidence.”


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