Singtel-owned Optus names broadband network boss Stephen Rue as new CEO

OPTUS-MOVES/CEO (UPDATE 2, PIX):UPDATE 2-Singtel-owned Optus names broadband network boss Stephen Rue as new CEO

Reuters
Updated6 May 2024, 06:55 AM IST
Singtel-owned Optus names broadband network boss Stephen Rue as new CEO
Singtel-owned Optus names broadband network boss Stephen Rue as new CEO

(Adds Stephen Rue's background in paragraph 3 and analyst comment in paragraph 7)

May 6 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications' Australian unit Optus said on Monday it had appointed Stephen Rue as its new CEO, nearly half a year after former boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin resigned following a massive network outage.

Optus' finance chief Michael Venter will continue as the interim CEO until Rue, currently the head at Australia's national broadband network, takes over in November, the telecom firm said.

Rue, who had joined government-owned broadband network nbn as a finance chief in 2014, was responsible for rolling out the country's broadband network and providing millions of Australians with internet access. He earlier worked as the director at real estate firm Rea Group as well as the finance head of News Corp Australia.

The announcement comes at a time when market speculation is rife that Singapore Telecommunication (SingTel) is looking to sell part of its entire stake in Optus. The Singapore firm has denied the speculation multiple times.

Optus, Australia's second-largest telecom operator, suffered a 12-hour network blackout last November that impacted more than 10 million Australians and left them without internet or phone access.

Rosmarin resigned just weeks after, cutting short a more than three-year tenure that was also marred by one of Australia's largest data breaches.

"I think Singtel wanted a steady hand to support the divestment and probably paid up for it," said Mathan Somasundaram, CEO of Deep Data Analytics.

Separately, SingTel last week flagged it would report a net loss for the second-half of fiscal 2024, citing non-cash impairment provisions of S$3.1 billion ($2.30 billion), of which about S$2 billion was for Optus' goodwill.

($1 = 1.3496 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Rajasik Mukherjee; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Shri Navaratnam and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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First Published:6 May 2024, 06:55 AM IST
HomeNewsSingtel-owned Optus names broadband network boss Stephen Rue as new CEO

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