Telstra CIO Erez Yarkoni quits to return home to family

Is this the moment Stephen Elop makes his move?

Telstra's Chief Information Officer Erez Yarkoni has decided to leave the company.

A Telstra spokesperson told The Register that "After developing and leading the refreshed IT strategy, and realigning the IT operating model Erez has made the decision to move permanently back to the US to join his family."

"He departs Telstra with a clear road map for us to execute and deliver on our vision to become a world class technology provider."

Yarkoni will stay at Telstra until October 2016, "to ensure a smooth transition of his leadership. A replacement will be announced closer to this time."

Yarkoni joined Telstra in early 2013 to run its cloud business unit and was promoted to CIO in February 2015.

At that time he said he wanted to steer Telstra towards the internet of things, rather than taking on a CIO's more traditional remit of overseeing core application and infrastructure, and ensuring they meet a business' needs. Yarkoni instead aspired to transform Telstra into a carrier capable of supporting new and hyper-connected business models.

The Register understands he did much of his work from the United States, as family commitments there meant he could not always work full time in Australia.

Whatever the reason for Yarkoni's departure, it means three senior Telstra leaders have left in short order.

Earlier this year the company parted ways with chief technology officer Vish Nandlall and last week chief operations officer Kate McKenzie retired from the telco after overseeing a number of nasty network no-shows.

Ironically, the company has just launched a re-branding effort to position it as a technology company rather than a mere bit-mover. With new people in the two main technology roles, there's certainly plenty of new thinking on technology to come!

That's not a new dilemma for the company to wrestle: it's now burned through five CIOs in six years. Which is hardly a model of stable management and strategy markets typically demand of blue chip companies.

Former Nokia-and-Microsoft man Stephen Elop, who sources tell us is quickly making waves inside the carrier in a vaguely-defined innovation role, will surely be among those considered for the chair Yarkoni vacated. ®

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