Richard Freemantle retires from Cisco

Richard Freemantle is preparing to leave Cisco Systems, which he joined in 1990 to form the company's first international subsidiary. His rise up the Cisco corporate ladder was relatively meteoric and in 1996 he was promoted to vice president and transferred to Cisco's European operations, where he managed the northern region, which included the UK, the Nordic countries and South Africa. After being promoted to senior vice president in 1999 he returned to Sydney to manage Cisco's Asia/Pacific operations.

Freemantle will be replaced at the end of January by Gordon Astles, but will remain with Cisco until April. Astles is Cisco's vice president of Americas international, which covers operations in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is not yet clear whether he will be based in Sydney or in Singapore.

It is understood Freemantle does not intend to take another full time job, although The Rust Report does not expect him to be idle long. He told us once how on flights to Canberra he used to ask for a seat at the back of the plane so that on landing in the ACT he could be first down the steps and into the taxis. It is simply not in his nature to sit still.

Jim Hassell takes top job at Sun

Jim Hassell has been appointed managing director of Sun Microsystems' Australasian operation. He has been with Sun for more than three years, and was most recently UK partner sales director in charge of an operation generating revenues of $US1.2 billion. Before joining Sun, Hassell spent 12 years with IBM in a number of roles and divisions.

In Australia he takes over from Russell Bate, who has been promoted to vice president of product sales operations for the Asia/Pacific region.

Vic Opperman joins Quiktrak

Industry veteran Vic Opperman has joined listed specialist telecommunications company Quiktrak Networks as chief executive officer. He takes over from Chris Kyriakou, who remains a director and will continue to oversee the company's operations in the UK and Malaysia.

Opperman, a South African, has held several senior positions in the Australian IT industry, including managing director of Dun & Bradstreet Software and managing director of Intergraph Corporation. For the past two years he has been operating as a marketing and management consultant.

Oracle execs launch investment company

Phil Kiely and Stuart McLean, both of Oracle's Asia/Pacific operation, have formed a private investment company Matrix Capital Corporation, which kicked off its operations last week with a flutter on Gadfly Media, a company that achieved a high profile by managing the 77,000 Web pages of the official site of the 2000 Olympic Games.

Kiely, a former regional managing director of Oracle Australasia, was recently made head of Oracle's Asia/Pacific online operations where he has been joined by McLean, a former general manager of Oracle's e-business arm.

McLean said Matrix intends to develop a string of investments that can leverage off each other's competencies. It will concentrate on local B2B companies, but will also assist US companies wanting to get a foothold in the Asia/Pacific region. Kiely added that Matrix will focus on Australian companies "that can expand the Oracle economy".

Around the traps

AltaVista has appointed Ms Mel Bohse as managing director for Australia and NZ. She joined the company from online marketing company Engage Australia. Bohse has also worked for Media Tech Pacific, Attachmate/DCA, Anixter, Banyan and DEC.

American Express has appointed Australian Elizabeth Roy vice president in charge of corporate services e-commerce. She joined the company from Allen & Hamilton in San Francisco where she had moved after joining the firm in Sydney.

E-commerce specialist Ariba has appointed Allan Smith CEO for Australia and New Zealand. He had been with Computer Associates for 14 years, becoming managing director for Australia and New Zealand and, more recently a senior vice president, in the US.

The board of Ezenet - a company involved in technology required to access the Internet via TV sets - has decided that its internal management structure does not need a chief executive officer and as a consequence has parted ways with Peter Gall, who had previously held that position.

Ericsson Australia has spun off three divisions into subsidiaries to provide a tighter focus to its activities. The three are Ericsson Equity Alliances headed by Leo Silver; Ericsson Asia/Pacific Lab headed by Ric Clark; and Ericsson Corporate Networks, which will be formed by splitting the enterprise solutions division in two.

Trevor Eagle, a Kiwi IT pioneer

Trevor Eagle, a pioneer in the New Zealand IT industry who introduced the Prime brand of minicomputer to NZ in 1969 before founding Eagle Technology, has died suddenly at the age of 68. Trevor's high standing in the New Zealand industry was enhanced by active involvement in industry advocacy roles, including a period as chairman of the High Tech Council and his public opposition to what he saw as the damaging implications of this year's Employment Relations Bill.

He is survived by his wife and business partner Corallie, six of his seven children, and five grandchildren.

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