Amaysim CMO promoted to top job

Renee Garner takes the helm at mobile virtual network operator; recruits Tyro Payments marketing leader as the telco's new marketing and sales chief

From left: Lucila Pagnoni, Renee Garner and Lisa Vitaris
From left: Lucila Pagnoni, Renee Garner and Lisa Vitaris

Amaysim has promoted its chief marketing officer, Renee Garner, to company head, the youngest and first female leader in the mobile virtual network operator’s 11-year history.

Gartner joined amaysim as marketing chief in 2019. Coming initially from a background in corporate law, she made the switch into customer and marketing while working for Energy Australia, becoming its general manager of customer strategy, marketing planning and segments in 2015 and overseeing its retail P&L.

Garner’s resume also includes co-authoring the first climate change law textbook in Australia in 2008, coming second in the Top 20 Influential Gas Leaders in Australia in Gas, recognition as one of Australia’s top marketing talents by Marketing Academy Scholar in 2016, being awarded the 2014 AFR BOSS Magazine Young Executive of the Year and being named as ‘one to watch’ in the 2020 CMO50 of Australia’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders.  

During her time as amaysim’s CMO, Garner has spearheaded a number of innovative campaigns and customer efforts, which the company said helped amaysim become one of the most loved telcos in Australia with one of the highest Net Promoter Scores (NPS) recorded across the industry (+57).

Garner was appointed head of amaysim while on maternity leave and takes over the reins from Isaac Ward, who has become chief commercial officer at Brighte. Garner is the first female leader for the business and its youngest to date at 40. Amaysim was acquired by Optus in November 2020 for $250 million.

In a statement, amaysim said Garner’s appointment exemplifies its dedication to challenging the status quo in the telecommunications as well as wider tech industry. It was also recognition of talent and enabling women to continue climbing the career ladder regardless of family commitments.  

From left: Lucila Pagnoni, Renee Garner and Lisa VitarisCredit: amaysim
From left: Lucila Pagnoni, Renee Garner and Lisa Vitaris

“It’s a dream come true to lead this business, that I love and wholeheartedly believe in,” Garner said. “Amaysim is a courageous customer champion and challenger to the big telcos, and I‘m so excited to be back leading this exceptional team towards our ‘Big Love’ fame and growth ambition.”  

Garner has now appointed two further senior executive leaders in marketing and commercial. Former ASX-listed Tyro Payments CMO, Lisa Vitaris, has joined amaysim as its new sales and marketing officer, bringing 17 years’ marketing experience across the financial services, technology, automotive and travel sectors with her. The list of brands includes Aussie Home Loans, University of Technology and CMC Markets. Vitaris has also been agency-side, working with Euro RSCG, Host, Love Communications and Innocean Worldwide.    

Lucila Pagnoni has been appointed senior commercial director and joins from TPG, where she was head of commercial and strategy. Pagnoni has more than 15 years’ experience in strategy, delivery and operations across multinational corporations in telecommunications and media.  

Garner noted these hires bolster amaysim’s executive senior leadership team and bring its split to 60 per cent female / 40 per cent male.  

“I believe the key to amaysim’s success is in our people and culture, in fact, we view our culture as our competitive advantage, with empathy at the core of everything we do,” Gartner commented. “Before we can show ‘Big Love’ to our customers, we must first demonstrate ‘Big Love’ to each other. Recognising talent and driving diversity is a big part of this, as is caring about our people and providing a place of belonging and radical acceptance in which our people can learn, grow, and thrive together.”  

Garner has her sights firmly set on growth this year. “We’re going to see a lot more orange out there and we’re not going shy away from asking every Australian to give us a go,” she said.  

“With the incredible backing and support of the broader Optus business, our incredible team, and our insatiable appetite for winning customers hearts, we’re primed for our best year yet.”

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