Telstra's change of guard

Ziggy Switkowski walked out of Telstra this week with at least one personal ambition - to become a "normal" person again.

Behind him lies six years in one of the toughest corporate jobs in Australia.

The chief executive position at the nation's biggest telco requires political acumen, diplomacy, a big dash of industry smarts and an ability to walk a regulatory tightrope.

But Dr Switkowski probably summed it up best when he told reporters Telstra required a "24x7 type of individual."

"Running Telstra requires near-obsessive commitment to the details of the job," he said adding that he plans to take three months off before deciding his next move.

New CEO Solomon Trujillo took the helm on July 1 with a full management team meeting.

Trujillo said he expects to hit the ground running and is unafraid to make tough decisions.

"Make no mistake - I have been preparing for this job for the past 30 years," he said.

The federal government is expected to introduce legislation in parliament in August to pave the way for the sale of the third and final tranche of Telstra.

The government, which holds 51.8 per cent of Telstra, is set to earn at least US$30 billion from the sale, expected in the latter half of 2006. - with AAP

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