Telstra chief executive David Thodey has again embarked on a major restructuring effort within Telstra, representing the latest in half a dozen such initiatives since the executive took Telstra’s reins in mid-2009.
This morning Telstra announced (PDF) it would be unifying its entire sales and retail customer service workforce in a single business unit, Telstra Customer Sales & Service, to be led by its existing retail chief Gordon Ballantyne and to be responsible for sales and service to all of Telstra’s market segments, including consumer and small to medium business customers, as well as those in enterprise and government.
The heads of Telstra’s existing business and enterprise and government divisions will now report to Ballantyne, whose title will become chief customer officer, while all marketing activities will be centralised under the telco’s chief marketing officer, Mark Buckman.
Telstra veteran Stuart Lee — who had been working on possible future structural models for Telstra, will now take over Telstra’s wholesale division, which will include a great deal of interaction with the National Broadband Network Company, and Telstra will also create an Applications & Ventures Group to lead its investment in new and emerging businesses in high-speed broadband.
“As faster broadband becomes available to more Australians, we expect an explosion in innovation and the development of new locally developed media-rich applications,” Thodey said in a statement. “Telstra’s Applications & Ventures Group will invest and partner with other companies and government agencies at the forefront of innovation to provide a new range of digital services for business and consumers, including in health and education.”
That Applications & Ventures Group will be led by Telstra’s current SME Deena Shiff, with the executive’s role to be taken by Telstra’s former group general counsel Will Irving.
Telstra also announced a number of other minor restructuring initiatives, including the creation of specialised teams to support opportunities in cloud computing and media, handing more responsibility for to day operations to its international division, handing responsibility for all ‘back-of-house’ services to Telstra’s operations team, and centralising ‘key internal business support functions’.
The restructure is just the latest in a series of such moves which Thodey has undertaken over the past several years.
In November 2009, as Telstra’s product management chief Holly Kramer resigned, Telstra re-shuffled its BigPond division and integrated its technology and networks division into its operations unit. Former Racing Victoria chief Robert Nason also came on board to assist with the Project New simplification effort.
In October 2010 Telstra went through a huge cull of 950 executives and middle management roles, as well as consolidating product and innovation into its chief marketing office, with product delivery being shifted into Telstra Operations.
And then just a few months later, in January 2011, several more senior Telstra executives — David Quilty and Michael Rocca — left the company, with a new chief operating office arriving from IBM, and a new unit created, Strategy & Corporate Services, under former St George chief Paul Fegan.
Today Thodey described Telstra’s strategy as “unchanged”, stating that Telstra was focusing on building a sales and marketing culture internally.
“We have made considerable progress over the past two years, especially in the nine months to March 2011, when more than one million Australians returned to Telstra,” said Thodey. “Today’s initiatives are further evidence that Telstra is changing by putting our customers first, building new growth initiatives, and simplifying the way we get things done.”
Image credit: Telstra