Thodey resigns as Telstra CEO

The man credited with spearheading the telco's customer-first turnaround will be replaced by company CFO

Telstra CEO David Thodey looks toward Asia.
Telstra CEO David Thodey looks toward Asia.

Telstra’s CEO and the man credited with driving the telco’s customer transformation turnaround, David Thodey, has announced his retirement after six years at the helm.

In a statement to the ASX this morning, Telstra confirmed its chief financial officer and group executive for international, Andrew Penn, has been appointed the next CEO. The transition comes into effect on 1 May.

Penn is a former group CEO of AXA Asia-Pacific and has more than 30 years’ experience across A/NZ, Asia-Pacific and Europe in chief executive, finance, strategy and senior roles. He joined Telstra in March 2012 as CFO and gained the group executive international responsibilities in May last year.

“[W]e must continue the journey to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. It really is our single most important part of our vision,” Penn said during a conference call this morning on his appointment.

“Andy is a seasoned executive in global markets with proven capability to lead organisations through significant transitions and major expansion,” Telstra chairman, Catherine Livingstone, said.

“He has played a key role in developing Telstra’s long-term growth strategy and we are delighted he will continue to lead Telstra’s plans to increase customer advocacy, core business value and capitalise on new growth opportunities.”

Livingstone added it was testament to Thodey that his replacement was chosen from within the business.

Thodey joined Telstra in 2001 as group managing director of the mobile division before switching to enterprise and government in 2002. He has been the CEO since 2009 and will continue assisting Penn until the end of the financial year, and remain available to the business until late August.

Livingstone attributed the rise in Telstra’s company value from $40 billion to above $80 billion to Thodey’s success as a CEO.

“David has been an outstanding chief executive for our customers, shareholders and employees,” she said. “His passion for customer service and instigating true cultural change has had an enormously positive effect on our company, which has been reflected in our financial performance in recent years.”

Thodey has been championing Telstra’s customer-first focus in recent years. In an annual general meeting late last year, he said customer advocacy is one of three strategic pillars and a core growth driver for the business.

“Our journey to being a world-class customer service organisation is generational progress,” he said. “We have achieved much change but there is a lot more to do.”

Thodey also flagged the completion of the National Broadband Network agreement with the Federal Government as another milestone of his tenure as CEO.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How can a brand remain human in a digital world?

Some commentators estimate that by 2020, 85 per cent of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video*. That’s only two years away, and pertinent for any marketer.

James Kyd

Global head of brand strategy and marketing, Xero

​Relevance and substance are the keys to marketing’s future

Marketing’s evolution and increased value-add to organisations is making headway in one essential direction: Driving brands to achieve maximum relevance in the heart and minds of customers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Why doing your job well is the key to innovation

The words ‘power company’ and ‘innovation’ probably don’t seem like a natural combination. In fact, when I first went for a marketing role with an electricity company, I semi-dreaded the work I thought I’d be doing.

Catherine Anderson

Head of marketing, Powershop Australia ICO relaunch March 14 - April 14 2018. Building a bigger community and more holders will surely move Krios to top exchan...

Mark Dalton

Blockchain pitched as answer to influencer marketing management

Read more

Lok knocks it out the park and predicts the future...“People are starting to understand they own their own data, and this will come to a ...


Data regulation key to marketing innovation

Read more

It needs to come from the top. It's not just about buy-in from the leadership team, leadership should be part of the development process ...

Stephen Houraghan

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience and optimising customer value

Read more

When was this article posted?


Report Reveals the Channels That Really Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Read more

sorry, I did not see that my first attempt already posted.


5 ways Australian Unity is driving innovation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in