Bloomberg News

Telstra Combines Retail, Sales Teams After NBN Agreement

July 05, 2011

(Adds wholesale unit appointment in fourth paragraph.)

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Telstra Corp., Australia’s biggest phone company, will combine its sales and retail teams into a single unit after agreeing last month to hand over fixed-line assets to the government’s national broadband network.

Gordon Ballantyne will head the customer division, which will be responsible for sales to consumers, business and government, Melbourne-based Telstra said in a statement today. Deena Shiff will lead a new applications and ventures unit targeting services such as education and health.

Telstra agreed last month to give up control of its copper- wire assets to the government’s fiber network in exchange for A$11 billion ($11.8 billion) of compensation, ending its role as a wholesaler to other phone and Internet service providers. Chief Executive Officer David Thodey is also creating specialist teams for cloud-computing and media services and centralizing services such as human resources and finance to cut costs.

Stuart Lee will head the wholesale business as customers are transitioned to the national broadband network.

Under the agreement with the government, signed June 23, Telstra will progressively transfer fixed-line customers using its copper-wire and cable assets onto the government network that is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

Instead of getting all the revenue from those customers, it will pay a wholesale fee to the government fiber network for access before adding its own retail price.

--Editors: Terje Langeland, Dave McCombs

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne rfenner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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