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Telstra rejigs structure, brings NZ business into single trans-Tasman market

Monday 30th November 2009

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Telstra Corp, Australia’s largest phone company, will rejig its structure and fold the New Zealand business into a single trans-Tasman market, the company announced today.  

Chief executive David Thodey split the company’s product portfolio into two businesses broadly along fixed-line and wireless lines, and created a new international unit to focus on building the telecommunications company’s reach into Asia. Telstra will operate its Australasian businesses as part of a single trans-Tasman market, he said.  

“Asia is a very important market for Telstra and the creation of this new unit enables us to take a coordinated approach to our performance in the world’s fastest-growing markets,” he said in a statement. “These new groups will help us focus on opportunities in markets that are most important for Telstra’s future.”  

The company is attempting to either avoid or be compensated for the likely requirement it hand over chunks of its broadband network and customers to federal government-owned rival, the National Broadband Network Co., which was given A$43 billion to build a national network after Telstra chose not to three years ago.  

The government’s push to split the phone company along the same lines as New Zealand’s Telecom Corp. have been deferred for at least another 60 days as emissions trading legislation is drawn out by policymakers.  

Thodey appointed Robert Nason, the former managing director wagering of Tabcorp, to head up a new customer service unit, and the reshuffle will creates a new operating committee that will meet weekly and focus on business performance.  

Telstra’s group managing director of product management Holly Kramer stepped down from her position amid the rejig.  The shares gained 0.3% to A$3.40 on the Australian stock exchange and were unchanged at $4.32 on the NZX.  

Representatives from Telstra or its New Zealand subsidiary TelstraClear Ltd weren’t immediately available for comment.

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