Alston could be next Telstra chairman: PM

Former IT and Communications Minister Richard Alston could be considered as a candidate for the job of Telstra's new chairman, according to Prime Minister John Howard.

During a radio interview this morning, the Prime Minister said Alston certainly had the ability and experience for the job.

Telstra this week appointed an executive search team to hunt for a new chairman after Bob Mansfield shocked investors by quitting in the wake of turmoil within the company's board.

Asked if Alston is a contender for the chair's position, John Howard said: "Well, it's possible for anybody of ability and he's certainly got a lot of ability and experience.

"But the question of who will be the next chairman is something that obviously has to be discussed by the board and I'm sure the government will be consulted."

Howard told Sydney radio station 2UE the government would have some role in choosing Telstra's new chairman.

Senator Alston retired from Parliament last December after 17 and a half years in Parliament.

His successor as Communications Minister, Daryl Williams, has also announced plans to retire from politics at the next federal election.

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