Government taps former Chorus CEO to join NBN Co board

Justin Milne and Patrick Flannigan to leave board later this month

Former Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie.

Former Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie.

Credit: Supplied

Kate McKenzie, the former chief executive of New Zealand telecommunications infrastructure operator Chorus, has been appointed to the board of NBN Co.

Finance minister Senator Mathias Cormann and communications minister Paul Fletcher made the announcement today, with McKenzie’s three-year term to commence on 1 December.

McKenzie is also Telstra’s former chief operations officer. She left the telco in 2016 after a dozen years at the company, including around six years as COO.

In early February 2017 she joined Chorus as CEO. Chorus has been tasked with rolling out the majority of NZ’s Ultra-Fast Broadband network: A fibre to the premises (FTTP) network that is intended to reach 87 per cent of New Zealanders by 2022.

In August this year Chorus would announce that McKenzie would step down at the end of 2019. The company said that McKenzie intended to return to Australia in order to spend more time with her Sydney-based family.

Her replacement at Chorus, JB Rousselot, is NBN Co’s former chief strategy officer (as well as a former Telstra executive).

The government said that Justin Milne and Patrick Flannigan will be stepping down from NBN Co’s board following the expiry of their current terms on 10 November.

“We congratulate Ms McKenzie on her appointment and thank Mr Milne and Mr Flannigan for their service to NBN,” a statement issued by Cormann and Fletcher said.

Both Milne and Flannigan joined the board in 2013.

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