Exetel chief executive, John Linton, has passed away overnight after suffering a stroke.
In a post on Linton’s blog, his son, James Linton, said the Exetel chief had suffered a mild stroke while “doing what he liked best, eating at a nice restaurant, drinking nice wine and talking about the state of the telecommunications market in Australia”.
According to the blog post, Linton was taken to St. Vincents Hospital where on arrival he had trouble breathing and was put into a medically induced coma and on a ventilator to help him breathe.
“Unfortunately it turned out to be a very intensive stroke and there was nothing the doctors could do… So last night, with most of my family present, his ventilator was turned off and a few hours later he passed away peacefully," the post reads.
“This is the saddest day of my life, I have lost my dad, my mentor, my boss, and one of my best friends.”
“However, Dad would not want us fussing over him, he would want to know what we have sold, which was actually one of the last things I said to him.
“He would also want Exetel to go on as he had planned for it to. He put in a place a strategic plan, so we need to move on as he had wanted us to, and remember him for the great man he was.”
As recently as yesterday, John Linton wrote an upbeat blog post in which he noted January had “finished with a bang” with an increase of 260 per cent in sales over the previous January.
He detailed plans for the ISP for 2012, including the revaluation of the ‘look’ of services offered to small areas covered by fibre.
“Opticom has tried much harder than either NBN Co or, of course, Telstra to provide sensible pricing that might allow a wholesaler like Exetel to offer realistic pricing but many barriers remain in terms of set up costs and contract lengths,” the blog poast reads.
“We will re-address these issues this morning to see what, if anything, we can do to improve our residential fibre offerings.”
The ISP was to also look at opportunities in Tasmania and New Zealand as well as in Corporate Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
“None of whatever efforts were made last year resulted in any real progress but this is a new year and we need to do new things - and do them much better than we did last year.”
“Whatever minor 'successes' we may have enjoyed over the past eight years, and they have been few and far between in the wide sweep of telecommunications in Australia, we need to become far more successful in the immediate future and beyond,” he said.” “The 'landscape' we now confront is very, very different to what it was in January 2004 and so is Exetel, both in size and 'composition'.
“A good January is something to be pleased about but that 'inner glow' flickers and dies almost as soon as it is engendered.
“Exetel's reality is that unless we quickly put the right people in place to make the most of the opportunities available to us we will have substantially wasted much of whatever we have managed to achieve over the past eight years.....”