NBN announces restructure as network grows

Executive team reshuffled as NBN enters a new phase, CEO says

NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN’s CEO, Bill Morrow, has announced a number of changes to the company’s structure as the rollout of the National Broadband Network approaches the halfway mark.

The company said in a statement that the changes reflect a need to shift emphasis from “network build” to “network operate and optimise” as more users are connected.

NBN announced last month that 5 million premises were connected to the network, with around 2.2 million services in operation. The company says that around a quarter of a million premises have been made ready for service every month this year. In total, NBN is aiming to hook up 8 million premises by 2020.

NBN said there were four drivers for the changes announced by Morrow:

(1) The NBN access network is rapidly approaching the halfway built mark with the weekly Ready For Service volume rate near the peak required to complete the build by 2020;
(2) Active end-users are at scale and require an industry-wide lift in experience across all touch points;
(3) Near one billion dollars of future annual revenue will potentially come from the business segment and this requires a fundamentally different Go-To-Market strategy to that which NBN has applied for the residential segment;
(4) Network and IT technology is converging at an escalated pace and requires a uniform and integrated approach to introducing new functionalities; and,
(5) NBN’s organisation model needs to ultimately evolve from ‘network build’ to ‘network operate and optimise’ with a far greater emphasis on customers--both RSPs and end-users.

Key changes to the executive team include splitting the chief customer officer role.

NBN’s chief customer officer, John Simon, will establish a new Business Sales and Marketing department.  Simon, who will retire in the first half of next year, has been given the title of chief customer officer — business.

Leading NBN’s Residential Sales and Marketing will be Brad Whitcomb. Whitcomb, who will have the title chief customer officer — residential, is currently NBN’s chief strategy and transformation officer.

Shadow minister for communications Michelle Rowland said the changes to the chief customer officer role were “spin”.

“Today’s release by NBN Co has more spin than a front-load washing machine,”Rowland said. “The reshuffle of the chief customer officer is clear evidence the Turnbull NBN is failing consumers.

“NBNCo’s declaration that its organisational model needs to ultimately ‘evolve’ to have a far greater emphasis on customers is more than three years too late.”  

Critics of NBN have seized on figures released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman showing a surge in the number of NBN-related complaints to the body.

Kathrine Dyer, currently executive general manager within Network Engineering and Deployment, has been appointed chief network deployment officer and will join the executive committee, NBN said. Dyer will lead a new Network Deployment and Planning team.

Chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan will lead a new Network Engineering and Operations team, which combines the Network Service Operations department and the Network Performance Engineering team.

NBN’s chief information officer, John McInerney, has been appointed chief systems engineering officer. He will lead Systems Engineering and Operations. NBN said the new team brought together IT and the network engineering team focussed on the delivery of new network functionality.

NBN’s JB Rousselot moves from chief network operations officer to chief strategy officer, leading Strategy, Transformation, Regulatory and Technology.

Karina Keisler, currently executive general manager corporate affairs, has been appointed chief corporate affairs officer and will join NBN’s executive committee.

NBN said that Keisler’s responsibilities would include a new “NBN-Local” group “focused on national industry stakeholders and local relationships in remote and regional Australia”.

The roles of chief legal counsel Justin Forsell, chief people and culture officer Maree Taylor, and chief financial officer Stephen Rue remain unchanged.

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