Analyst welcomes Telstra CEO appointment

Von Sandra Rossi

Despite lobbying for a local internal appointment to take up the top job at Telstra Corp. Ltd., telecommunications analyst Paul Budde has welcomed the appointment of American Solomon Trujillo as the new CEO of Telstra.

But Budde warned it will not be an easy job for Trujillo as he will have to undertake significant cost cutting in the near term and complete the privatization of Telstra (known as T3).

"At this point I believe that he is a good choice," Budde said.

"He certainly has the right credentials to take on Telstra - with his 25 years of experience of telco bureaucracy, culture, backstabbing and all the other excitement inherent in a senior telco job.

"The question is whether he can develop a "softly softly" Ziggy-style approach to cost cutting before T3 without upsetting the politicans and the public," he said making reference to the former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski who stepped down almost seven months ago.

"To be honest, I don"t think that Solomon has this kind of personality. He is somebody who wants his own way and dislikes others telling him what he can and can"t do. On the other hand, I am sure he has been well-briefed on the local Australian situation, so he will be entering the fray with his eyes wide open."

Trujillo is the former head of French mobile company Orange and will be moving from California to take up his new role from July 1.

The 53-year old has a fixed remuneration package of A$3 million (US$2.3 million) a year, which is above the A$2 million paid to Switkowski.