Telstra unifies divisions, reshuffles management for NBN

Telstra (ASX:TLS) has made a number of appointments to build its customer service focus as the National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolled out.

In a statement to the ASX, the telco’s chief executive, David Thodey, said the entire sales and retail customer service workforce would be unified into a single division from 1 August.

To head up the new business unit, Telstra Customer Sales and Service, Telstra has appointed Gordon Ballantyne in the newly created role of chief customer officer. He will be responsible for all facets of the division including consumer, business, enterprise and government customers.

“We are investing in a single retail customer-facing workforce that will now be unified in a single team, enabling us to work as one team to serve our customers better… and become more efficient as we prepare for the National Broadband Network,” Thodey said.

The heads of Telstra’s business, enterprise and government sectors will all report to Ballantyne.

“These appointments and initiatives are consistent with our long-term strategy to improve services, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses,” Thodey said.

The telco will also streamline key internal business support functions which do not directly serve customers with the aim of freeing up customer-facing staff.

Stuart Lee has also been appointed group managing director for Telstra Wholesale in time for the transition to the NBN. He succeeds Glenn Osbourne who has been acting in the role since early 2011.

Lee has been with the company for over 40 years and will oversee the wholesale business operations, including the relationship with NBN Co following the signing of an $11 billion deal after two years of protracted negotiations.

The agreement will involve the leasing of Telstra’s infrastructure including dark fibre, exchange space and ducts for a minimum of 35 years.

Telstra will establish teams to support its increasing presence in the Cloud computing arena after flagging plans to build a new 2000-square metre data centre in Melbourne as part of its $800 million, five-year Cloud services agenda.

The investment will also include modernising facilities at existing Telstra data centres in Sydney and Melbourne, expanding the telco’s enterprise applications, launching an online partner portal, and enhancing T-Suite Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities.

The international business unit, headed by Tarek Robbiati, will take over the day-to-day responsibilities for managing network assets for international enterprise and carrier customers. Additionally, the operations business unit will now provide the back-of-house services for consumer customers to improve the processing perception of customers.

According to Thodey, the telco has made “considerable” progress over the past two years, most significantly in the nine months to March 2011.

“Today’s initiatives are further evidence that Telstra is changing by putting our customers first, building new growth businesses, and simplifying the way we get things done,” he said.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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