Former Optus chief takes Telstra role

Telstra recruits Kevin Russell

Former Optus head Kevin Russell will join Telstra, the telco announced today.

Russell has been appointed group executive, Telstra Retail. Gordon Ballantyne formerly held that position until departing in late 2015. Ballantyne’s initial replacement, Dr Karsten Wildberger, resigned in December for personal reasons and will finish at the end of this month.

Russell will take up his new role at Telstra at the end of April.

Russell was employed by Optus from January 2012 until March 2014. Since leaving Optus he has acted as CEO of Collinear.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Kevin to the Telstra leadership team. He has an impressive track
record working for several of the world’s largest telcos in a range of demanding markets,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said in a statement.

“He has passionately worked to build customer experiences in new and existing major consumer brands and
service business clients. He has managed major programs across national fixed and mobile networks and is
well regarded in the local technology community.”

Telstra also announced today it had recruited former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

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