Telstra's head of ops drops after network flops

Kate McKenzie 'retires' from Telstra

Telstra's chief of operations, Kate McKenzie, has “retired” from the carrier.

As Telstra's canned announcement points out, McKenzie has since 2013 been “responsible for Telstra’s field services, IT and network architecture and operations.”

That statement also heaps praise on McKenzie, who has been with Australia's dominant carrier since 2004 and served in several senior executive roles.

2016's been a tough year for Telstra and McKenzie, thanks to numerous nasty network no-shows. As chief of ops, those outages ultimately land on McKenzie's desk.

Interestingly, Telstra says another staffer - Brendon Riley - “will be interim Chief Operations Officer with immediate effect while a permanent replacement is found,” suggesting that the company feels it needs to go beyond its ranks for a replacement.

While McKenzie's “retired” from Telstra, she holds several directorships and there's no indication she's retiring from working life.

It's therefore hard not to speculate that McKenzie has come to the realisation, with help or alone, that Telstra needs new leadership to overcome its recent woes. The company also recently lost its chief technology officer, but added former Nokia and Microsoft man Stephen Elop to its executive team. The Register recently asked Telstra if Mr Elop was available for interview and was told to wait a month or two until he feels his feet are properly under his desk. ®

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