Optus service outage takes down embattled CEO Bayer Rosmarin

Optus service outage takes down embattled CEO Bayer Rosmarin

Former Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin

The fallout from the Optus service outage two weeks ago has taken down CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin who has resigned from her position effective immediately.

Resignation rumours have been swirling around Bayer Rosmarin since the damaging network outage, with those rumours heightened at the end of last week after she was grilled by a Senate inquiry into the cause of the problem that is said to have affected up to 40 per cent of the Australian population.

“Having now had time for some personal reflection, I have come to the decision that my resignation is in the best interest of Optus moving forward,” Bayer Rosmarin says.

“It’s been an honour and privilege to lead the team at Optus and to serve our customers. I am proud of the team’s many achievements, and grateful for the support of the Optus team, (Singtel Group CEO Yuen Kuan) Moon, and the group. I wish everyone and the company every success in the future.”

The Singtel Group-owned company has been under intense public scrutiny in the fallout of the service disruption which impacted payments and internet access for businesses and consumers, while also leading to instances where emergency services calls could not be made by the public.

Despite the ongoing brand damage faced by Optus, Moon has paid tribute to Bayer Rosmarin for overseeing an improved financial performance, ‘market share gains, innovation and higher employee engagement’ during her tenure.

“Optus appointed Kelly at the beginning of the pandemic, and we acknowledge her leadership, commitment and hard work throughout what has been a challenging period and thank her for her dedication and service to Optus,” Yuen says.

“Kelly has always led with integrity and had all stakeholders’ best interests at heart. We understand her decision and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

Optus has appointed Optus CFO Michael Venter as interim CEO while the company undertakes a global search for Bayer Rosmarin’s replacement.

Venter, who joined Optus as CFO in 2021, has 25 years of business experience in Australia and Asia. He will be supported by former Optus business managing director Peter Kaliaropoulos, who has been called upon to join the team from 22 November in the newly created position of chief operating officer.

The Optus outage was reported to have been caused by changes to routing information from an international peering network following a routine software upgrade.

The outage came on the heels of an Optus data breach late last year that saw hackers access customer information.

“We recognise the need for Optus to regain customer trust and confidence as the team works through the impact and consequences of the recent outage and continues to improve,” Yuen says.

“Optus’ priority is about setting on a path of renewal for the benefit of the community and customers.”

Yuen describes Optus as an ‘integral part’ of the Singtel business.

“We view the events in recent weeks very seriously,” he says.

“We fully recognise the importance of Optus’ role in providing connectivity services to the community and the importance of network resiliency and security.

“That is a top priority in all markets where our companies operate in. I have every confidence our Optus team will exert all efforts to deliver for customers and regain their trust and confidence.”

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