April Fools’: Telstra appoints new BigPond chief


Note: This story was an April Fools’ Day joke. Happy April Fools!

The nation’s largest telco Telstra has appointed a new head of its BigPond internet service provider division as it attempts to inject new energy into its ranks following the departure of long-time BigPond chief Justin Milne (pictured).

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning, the telco’s chief executive David Thodey noted the company had conducted an internal and external search to find the right candidate to steward BigPond — one of Telstra’s key revenue drivers — through what he expected to be a turbulent few years as the rollout of the National Broadband Network gathered pace.

Milne came to BigPond in 2002 following a stint of several years leading early Australian internet service provider OzEmail and the Microsoft Network in Australia. He is seen as being responsible for much of the market share gains that BigPond made in the fast-growing broadband market through the past decade.

Thodey said Telstra would again draw talent from one of Australia’s major local ISPs to ensure the right mix of energy and industry experience.

Effective from 1 April, he said, the chief executive of tier two ISP Exetel, John Linton, would step into Milne’s shoes to govern BigPond.

“John’s proven his ability to delicately negotiate the treacherous course of providing good customer service, while balancing out the need to keep costs at a sustainable level,” said Thodey.

“His tact and delicacy will stand him in good stead at BigPond. I’ve made sure he knows that customer service is key to Telstra right now — we have to get up every day and go out and win that battle going forward.”

Thodey also highlighted Linton’s strong family connections as one factor that advantaged him during the selection process. “Everyone knows BigPond is a family shop,” he said. “I mean look — we had Justin and Anna Cicognani canoodling there for years!”

Linton, Thodey said, had committed to bringing his wife Annette across with him to BigPond to ensure the same “family friendly ethos” continued at the ISP.

Following Telstra’s announcement, Linton posted an entry on his blog this morning outlining his intentions for Australia’s largest ISP.

“The average person needs a BigPond broadband connection about as much as they need to have their arms amputated,” he said. “The whole BigPond disaster is a field of dreams dreamed up by a total wanker — True Dillo — and is basically a massive cover-up and bankruptcy plan.”

Linton’s first action as BigPond chief, he said, would be to sue Telstra’s wholesale division for uncompetitive pricing.

“There is no question that Telstra remains an organisation that is unbelievably hard to deal with and has reached a stage of contented bloatedness where even one of its legal representatives laughed without a hint of ruefulness at the concept that Telstra might like to act in a timely way to the matters being discussed,” he said of his first day at the nation’s largest telco.

However Linton was more positive on the matter of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s plan to deal with the Greens senators currently blocking the passage of the legislation to break-up Telstra.

“We received the ‘courtesy’ email asking us to visit the fourth Reich’s official sub-site where we could find the details of how to participate in Herr Krudd’s and Obersturmfuhrer Conroy’s scheme to purge the Fatherland of the filth emanating from the diseased brains of the untermenscen,” he said.

“I skim read it to the point that my understanding is that Herr Rudd’s Schutz-Staffel has drawn up an initial list of the undesirable senators that he wishes consigned to the flames as a first pass and will add to the list as further sub-human filth is discovered in the future.”

If you got this far you must have realised this is an April Fools’ Day story — did you fall for it? We’re pretty sure there is no way Telstra would hire Linton as BigPond chief :)

Image credits: Telstra and Delimiter