news The National Broadband Network Company’s founding chief executive, Mike Quigley, announced today that he would retire from the company and from corporate life, after four years of tumultuous life setting up NBN Co and initiating the construction of the NBN.
An engineer by training, Quigley was appointed NBN Co chief executive in July 2009, after a lengthy career with telecommunications hardware vendor Alcatel-Lucent that saw the executive rise as high as president and chief operating officer. Quigley was also a key player in the integration of US firm Lucent Technologies into the French Alcatel business.
Quigley had initially retired after his role at Alcatel-Lucent, but came out of retirement to become NBN Co’s chief executive. The announcement was made in a media release issued by NBN Co this morning.
“My job was to lay the foundations for the NBN for the next 30 years,” Quigley said. “That job is largely complete. NBN Co is now a well-established wholesale telecommunications company with a nationwide workforce, delivery partners, infrastructure agreements, complex IT systems and more than 40 retail customers which are supplying fast, reliable and affordable broadband to a growing number of Australians.”
“The role of the next CEO will be to build on these foundations. It is now critical that we further strengthen our partnerships across the construction and telecommunications industries, as we escalate the build of the network and work closely with our retail customers to ensure a smooth migration of families and businesses to the NBN.”
“I joined NBN Co because I believed better telecommunications was central to Australia’s ongoing success. I still believe that today. The ramp-up in construction and the news last week that the company had passed more than 200,000 premises with fibre gives me further confidence that the NBN build can be delivered by 2021 in line with the projections in the company’s Corporate Plan.”
Quigley will continue to serve as CEO until the Board appoints a successor to oversee the next stage of the company’s development.
Responding to Quigley’s announcement, NBN Co chairman Siobhan McKenna said: “NBN Co has been fortunate to have Mike as Chief Executive over the past four years. His intellect, tenacity and knowledge of telecommunications products and network architecture have taken NBN Co from a policy vision to a successful operating entity. The Directors are proud of Mike’s achievements and welcome his decision to remain in post to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.”
It is likely that, should the Coalition win the upcoming Federal Election, that Quigley would not have been allowed to remain in the position of chief executive, with senior Coalition figures such as Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull having publicly stated that they believed NBN Co was being mismanaged, or managed by the wrong executive team.
Communications Minister Anthony Albanese and Finance Minister Penny Wong have also issued a statement thanking Quigley for his work at NBN Co.
“Mr Quigley was the first employee of NBN Co and has overseen its development from the very beginning,” the pair said. “Mr Quigley came out of retirement to head NBN Co. He was eager to join the project because he understood the importance of nation-building infrastructure that is essential for our nation’s economic future.”
“Mr Quigley also understands, intuitively, what all good infrastructure builders know: you do it once and you do it right. Mr Quigley was instrumental in negotiating the deal with Telstra which has paved the way for the NBN rollout. Over the past four years, Mr Quigley has also successfully managed the switching on of fibre, fixed wireless and satellite connections right across the country, as NBN Co has established the full scale rollout of the National Broadband Network.”
“Mr Quigley can be tremendously proud of what he has achieved. On behalf of the Government and the Australian people, we wish to thank Mike Quigley for helping build the infrastructure Australia needs for the 21st century.”