The CEO of Optus, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, resigned following a nationwide network outage that left nearly half of Australia’s population without phone or internet service for 12 hours. Her departure on Monday, November 20, marked the end of a tenure marked by significant challenges, including a major data breach and the recent widespread service disruption.
Singtel, Optus’ parent company, announced Rosmarin’s resignation after the outage that affected over 10 million Australians. The interim CEO will be Michael Venter, the Chief Financial Officer, according to Singtel’s official statement.
Rosmarin explained her decision, citing personal reflection post her appearance before a parliamentary committee where it was disclosed that Optus lacked a contingency plan for such a large-scale outage. Her tenure, beginning in April 2020, saw Optus grappling with significant issues. Aside from the outage, there was a massive data hack exposing data of 10 million Australians, leading to legal actions and regulatory investigations.
At the recent parliamentary hearing, Optus executives admitted their failure to anticipate an outage of this magnitude, thus having no backup plan in place. Rosmarin acknowledged that hundreds of emergency calls failed due to the outage, but reassured that all incidents had been followed up and no harm occurred.
Singtel attributed the outage to a security system fault in Optus, contradicting earlier suspicions of a routine software upgrade causing the disruption. Despite the challenges, Singtel acknowledged Rosmarin’s efforts in increasing Optus’ market share and enhancing its financial performance during her tenure.
In light of the recent events, Singtel’s Group CEO, Yuen Kuan Moon, emphasized the need for Optus to rebuild customer trust and confidence. Additionally, Peter Kaliaropoulos was appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer, a newly created position within the company.