Dick Simpson to lead Telstra's new international focus

Telstra has achieved something of a coup in recruiting former IBM managing director David Thodey to become group managing director of its OnAir group, where he will replace Dick Simpson who has been appointed president of the telco's newly formed international operation.

Telstra International has been established to manage the carrier's Asia/Pacific interest and to direct its offshore growth strategy. It will encompass ventures in Vietnam, India, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Sri Lanka, in addition to the joint ventures with Pacific Century CyberWorks, which Simpson was instrumental in negotiating. It is understood Simpson will be based in Hong Kong.

"Telstra International will provide Telstra with a strong independent presence and a significant capacity to develop new commercial opportunities and relationships in the region," a Telstra statement noted. "The establishment of Telstra International will also reinforce accountabilities for achievement of the company's strategic aspiration in markets outside Australia."

Thodey had been with IBM for about 22 years, and had been at the helm of IBM Australia and NZ since June 1999. He will join Telstra OnAir late in April.

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