Gig Guide: Telstra chief Andrew Penn steps down

Brandon How

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn announced his retirement from the company on Wednesday following a more than seven year stint leading the company. Mr Penn remain in the role until September 1, when he will be replaced by current chief financial officer Vicki Brady.

Mr Penn joined the company as chief financial officer in 2012 and was promoted to the top role in May 2015. During this time he oversaw the implementation of Telstra’s T22 strategy and helped develop the recently announced T25 strategy. Ms Brady joined Telstra in 2016 and has been chief financial officer since July 2019. Prior to joining the company she worked at Optus, Singtel, and KPMG.

Telstra chair John Mullen said that Mr Penn would leave an enduring legacy on the company.

“During his time as chief executive, Andy has driven a focus on digitization underpinned by a commitment to simplifying products and services for our customers and employees. He has also maintained our leadership in networks, including recently through our investment to lead on 5G,” Mr Mullen said.

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn will retire on September 1, 2022.

Australia’s Science and Technology Council, which provides advice to the Prime Minister on science and technology issues, has appointed two new members on three-year terms, Emeritus Professor Cheryl Praeger and Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie. They will replace outgoing members Professor Barbara Howlett and Professor Geordie Williamson.

Emeritus Professor Praeger retired in 2017 following a 40-year career at the University of Western Australia as one of Australia’s leading mathematicians. Among her many achievements, Emeritus Professor Praeger became the woman president of the Australian Mathematical society from 1992-94, and was the first pure mathematician and first Western Australian to receive the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2019.

Associate Professor Brownlie is a researcher in environmental and agricultural sciences and deputy head of the School of Environmental Sciences at Griffith University. He was also a board member at Science and Technology Australia, the peak advocacy group for the STEM sector, for more than 11 years and held the presidency between 2019-2021.

The new chief digital officer of Victoria Police will be Steve Hodkinson. He moves into the role after seven years spent in chief information officer role at the Department of Human Services, at the merged Department of Health and Human Services, and finally at the de-merged Department of Health. Mr Hodkinson begins his role on April 11.

During Mr Hodkinson’s time at the Department of Health and Human Services he oversaw the introduction of the ‘Platform+Agile’ approach to delivering IT services. He credits this approach for leading to the development of the Covid Test Tracker system which streamlines the collection of data from testing sites and has since been shared with health departments in South Australia, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory.

The peak representative body for the electric car industry, the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), has announced its board for 2022, which features eight new directors. The new directors are NRMA chief executive Emma Harrington, Volkswagen Group managing director Paul Sansam, News Corp managing director John Lehmann, Polestar managing director Samantha Johnson, SEA Electric vice president Glen Walker, SG Fleet head of corporate affairs Yves Noldus, Volvo Group vice president Paul Illmer, and Ampol executive general manager Brent Merrick.

Outgoing EVC directors are Tritium chief executive Jane Hunter, Nissan managing director Stephen Lester, AGL Energy chief operating officer Markus Brokhof, and Hyundai chief operating officer John Kett.

Renewable energy investment group Octopus Investments Australia have appointed two co-heads of investment and development. Sonia Teitel and Darren Brown are being promoted from their roles as investment directors. Ms Teitel has spent more than 15 years in the renewable energy industry and has been with Octopus for the last year and a half. Mr Brown has been in the energy industry since 2004 and has also been at Octopus for the last year and a half.

Octopus Investments Australia managing director Sam Reynolds said that he was looking forward to working with Ms Teitel and Mr Brown in their new roles.

“Under the leadership of Sonia and Darren, we are very well positioned to source best in class deals, as well as develop our own projects. Both have deep experience in the renewables market in Australia and are well known to the broader market for their experience and skill sets. We are very much looking forward to seeing the team grow under their leadership,” Mr Reynolds said.

Meridian Energy has appointed Bharat Ratanpal as chief information officer. He enters the role with over 20 years of technology leadership experience. Mr Ratanpal has been at Meridian for around six and a half years and has previously held roles at Vodafone and Telstra.

Spatial data services company Veris has appointed Tracey Gosling as a non-executive director. Ms Gosling is also a non-executive director of digital mapping company Geoscape Australia.

Mining equipment, technology, and services firm Orica has appointed Gordon Naylor as a non-executive director. He is also non-executive chair of Medical Developments International.

Brisbane-based IT services company Data#3 has appointed Susan Forrester as a non-executive board director. She has around 12 years of board experience.

Newcrest Mining has also appointed a new non-executive director, Philip Bainbridge. Mr Bainbridge’s last role was as fossil fuel company Oil Search executive general manager liquefied natural gas.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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