Hunt for new CEO begins as Telstra's Ziggy Switkowski steps down

Telstra's search for a new CEO has begun as incumbent CEO Dr Ziggy Switkowski has agreed to step down from the post.

Switkowski's last day will be 1 July, 2005 and possibly even earlier if the telecommunications company can find a suitable replacement. Switkowski will depart with a payment of $2.092 million, as agreed by the terms of his contract.

Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie made the announcement to the ASX on Wednesday morning. In the statement he said the Telstra board remains committed to its current strategy and capital management program that was announced in June this year, and said it will work with Switkowski to implement the strategy over the next six months.

"Dr Switkowski had successfully led the company through a particularly complex and demanding period in the telecommunications industry," McGauchie said.

He layered praise on Switkowski for developing an outstanding executive team and for positioning Telstra as a "competitive, full service, integrated telecommunications company that is committed to delivering for its shareholders."

Switkowski said he will leave the post with a company that is performing well and in "sound shape".

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