On behalf of the Telstra Board, I would sincerely like to thank David Thodey for his contribution to our company and the Australian telecommunications industry.
During his 14 years with Telstra, including the last six as CEO, he provided incredible leadership, vision and energy as our industry underwent fundamental and substantial change.
With telecommunications being a critical enabler in our increasingly networked society, he was able to strike a balance between his responsibilities to protect the interests of Telstra shareholders and the broader need to ensure Australians can capitalise on the exciting possibilities that come from being connected.
David’s focus included ensuring significant and ongoing investment in infrastructure and new technologies. He always maintained an eye to the future and championed the drive to improve Australia™s focus on innovation through support for partnerships with educational institutions, governments and businesses of all sizes.
His professional skills and personal values and integrity have rightly earned him the deep respect of business, government and community stakeholders both in Australia and in many forums around the world. We thank him and extend our best wishes for the future.
In May, Andrew Penn, Telstra™s former Chief Financial Officer, became Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of David Thodey. Telstra™s new Chief Financial Officer, Warwick Bray, was previously the Group Managing Director of Products. That we were able to make these appointments from within the company is a reflection of the depth of the leadership talent at Telstra.
On behalf of my fellow Directors, I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Geoffrey Cousins AM and John Zeglis, who have announced their intention to retire from the Telstra Board at our Annual General Meeting on 13 October 2015. Both Geoff and John joined in 2006, and have played a significant role in helping to oversee the evolution of Telstra through this period of substantial change. We will miss their contribution and similarly extend our best wishes to them for the future.
As part of our ongoing program of Board renewal, the Board intends to nominate US-based technology executive, investor and advisor Trae Vassallo, for election as a non-executive Director at our AGM in October 2015. Ms Vassallo is a strong candidate who, given her experience in a range of sectors and technologies of strategic interest, we expect to make an immediate contribution to the Telstra Board if her nomination is supported by shareholders.
The Board and leadership team have together developed comprehensive plans to enhance and expand Telstra™s capabilities as an increasingly global technology company and to position us for future growth.
It is a time of enormous opportunity and the ability to create, to innovate, and to stay focused on our customers will be critical as we pursue our aspiration to become a world class technology company.
Catherine Livingstone AO