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Heading for the door: Embattled Optus chief resigns after nightmare two weeks in spotlight


Optus boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has resigned after the telecommunications giant suffered a fraught 18 months marked by a cyberattack and an hours-long outage that affected millions of Australians.


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Bayer Rosmarin said that it had been an honour to serve as Optus CEO but that it was an appropriate time to step down.

The decision follows not just the outage but the outrage from the community and government over the company’s handling of the issue. Optus was also still recovering from a massive data breach which led to customers’ personal details released on the dark web.

Bayer Rosmarin appeared before a Senate committee last week where she indicated that she had not considered her position.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Optus said that Bayer Rosmarin had delivered improved financial performance, market share gains, innovation and higher employee engagement during her time with the company, which is owned by Singtel.

Singtel chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon said Optus had appointed Bayer Rosmarin at the beginning of the pandemic and acknowledged 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,” Yuen said.

Chief financial officer Michael Venter would assume the role of interim CEO and a global search for a new CEO would start.

Venter joined Optus as CFO in 2021, bringing 25 years of business experience in Australia and Asia to the role.

In addition, veteran global telecommunications executive and former Optus business managing director Peter Kaliaropoulos would start as 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,” Yuen said.

“We fully recognise the importance of Optus’ role in providing connectivity services to the community and the importance of network resiliency and security. 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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