Telstra recruits Deutsche Telekom executive to lead product team

Christian von Reventlow appointed head of Product and Technology at telco

Telstra has recruited a Deutsche Telekom executive to take charge of its Product and Technology team, the telco announced today.

Deutsche Telekom’s chief product and innovation officer, Christian von Reventlow, will join Telstra on 1 November.

Von Reventlow has been at Deutsche Telekom for over three and a half years, and prior to that held roles at, Intel and Avaya.

“I am very pleased to have someone with Christian’s product credentials coming on board to deliver innovative and simple product experiences for customers that will lead the market and drive profitable growth,” Telstra’s CEO, Andrew Penn, said in a statement.

“He has spent his career developing and deploying breakthrough mobile, Cloud, software and hardware solutions to customers. He will be accountable for Telstra’s products strategy, product lifecycle, and technology and innovation where products are incubated and brought to scale.”

Christian von ReventlowCredit: Telstra
Christian von Reventlow

The CEO in late July foreshadowed the hiring of a new group executive for product and technology July as part of a new structure for the telco.

Product & Technology “will drive an integrated product and technology roadmap for all of Telstra to deliver innovative and simple product experiences that lead the market and drive profitable growth,” Telstra said at the time.

“As I said when announcing our new structure in July, at the heart of the changes is the simplification of our products and services built on new technology,” Penn said.

“The new end-to-end products and technology function will significantly increase our technical capabilities around product development and management.”

The restructure is part of the company’s ‘Telstra2022’ or ‘T22’ strategy, which Penn first detailed in June.

The key pillars for T22 are a push to streamline Telstra’s product offerings, the launch of a new business — ‘InfraCo’ — to take charge of the company’s fixed-line infrastructure, simplification of Telstra’s structure, and further boosting productivity.

“The telecommunications industry is going through a very dynamic and challenging time, probably the most significant in decades, if not its history,” Penn told a 21 June briefing on the strategy.

“And while many of the dynamics that are playing out today in the market were predictable, it is their intensity and depth of impact that is accelerating our need for change.”

The Telstra CEO said that the NBN is the origin of many of the challenges faced by Telstra — “We are no longer the wholesale fixed line provider in Australia and ultimately we lose our legacy wholesale business” — but there is also increased competition in the Australian mobile market.

(Telstra this morning revealed it had revised its FY19 guidance in the wake of updated rollout forecasts by NBN Co.)

“The bottom line is, the current model for telecommunication products and services in Australia today is unsustainable,” Penn told the T22 briefing. “And, as an industry, we must change. And as Telstra, we intend to lead the way.”

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