The CEO of Optus, the second-largest telco in the nation, resigned on Monday, ending a tenure of more than three years marred by a significant network outage and one of the biggest data breaches in Australian history.
According to parent company Singapore Telecommunications (STEL.SI), Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, the CEO of Optus, resigned a few days after a 12-hour network outage that left almost half of Australia’s 26 million residents without electricity or phone service.
Singtel released a statement announcing that Michael Venter, chief financial officer, will assume the role of temporary CEO.
Following a parliamentary hearing on Friday during which Optus executives stated that the business had no backup plan for an outage of that magnitude, Rosmarin said she decided to retire after taking some time for introspection.
“After some personal introspection, I have concluded that it is in Optus’ best interests to proceed with my resignation,” she stated.
Rosmarin led Optus through two major crises that damaged the telco giant’s reputation after she was appointed in April 2020. Ten million Australians’ personal information was compromised in a significant data breach last year. This led to numerous regulatory investigations and a class-action lawsuit.
A 12-hour network blackout affecting over 10 million Australians earlier this month dealt a severe blow to the corporation, inciting customer ire, irritation, and broader worries about the telecommunications infrastructure.
At the parliamentary hearing on Friday, Optus officials testified that the telco company did not anticipate a network-wide outage and did not have a backup plan in place.
Hundreds of calls to Australia’s emergency hotline, Triple-0, were unsuccessful due to the outage. Rosmarin informed the court, despite the telco having investigated every instance and saying, “Thankfully, everybody is OK.”
Last Monday, Singtel announced that the failure was not due to a regular software update, as was previously believed, but rather to a flaw in Optus’ security procedures.
During her leadership, Rosmarin grew Optus’s market share and enhanced its financial results, according to a statement from Single.
SingTel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon stated, “We recognize 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.” Additionally, Peter Kaliaropoulos was named to the recently established role of chief operations officer.