Telstra group executive of retail quits

Just three months into the new role, telco's group executive of retail has resigned for personal reasons

Telstra’s Retail group executive, Dr Karsten Wildberger, will resign from the ASX-listed telco and return to Germany next year for personal reasons.

Dr Wildberger was only appointed to the role in October following the departure of former executive, Gordon Ballantyne, who quit after five years with the business. Two of these were spent as head of retail and included leading a revamp of Telstra’s retail division, as well as its health division.

Ballantyne’s exit was followed by a shake-up of Telstra’s executive ranks that saw Wildberger promoted from group MD of consumer and acting group MD of products, to group executive of retail.

As part of that restructure, Telstra marketing and media leader, Joe Pollard, was also promoted to CMO and group executive of media. Group MD of strategic finance and acting group executive for international, Cynthia Whelan, was also promoted to group executive of international and new business.

In an ASX statement, Telstra CEO, Andy Penn, noted Dr Wildberger’s contribution to Telstra’s progress and said he was sorry to see him go.

Dr Wildberger will take an executive role outside of the telecommunications industry when he returns to Germany towards the middle of next year.

“Karsten is a great executive. We will be disappointed to see him go but understand his personal reasons,” Penn said. “Karsten brings great energy and passion to our business and has significant global experience.”

Telstra said it will announce succession arrangements for Telstra Retail in the near future.

Prior to joining Telstra, Dr Wildberger was a partner and managing director with The Boston Consulting Group advising on telecommunications, technology, industrial goods and utilities globally. He also held executive VP role in finance, sales and marketing at Deutsche Telekom in the UK and Germany as well as roles within Vodafone.

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