So long Sol: Trujillo leaves Telstra

26 Feb, 2009 09:30 AM
Sol Trujillo is set to leave the telecommunications giant. A successor will now be sought. Photo: Peter Rae
Sol Trujillo is set to leave the telecommunications giant. A successor will now be sought. Photo: Peter Rae

Telstra's controversial boss, Sol Trujillo, has hung up on the telecommunications giant.

Ending months of mounting speculation about his tenure, Mr Trujillo bows out after less than four years as Telstra's chief executive, a period which saw some of the most controversial bust ups with governments and regulators in Australia's corporate history.

Mr Trujillo will leave on June 30 to return home to the United States.

Telstra's board said it expected to make an appointment by June 30.

The company's chairman, Donald McGauchie, said now was a ''suitable time for a transition to a new CEO'' and the board was well-prepared for succession planning.

Despite his run ins with governments and regulators, Mr McGauchie said Mr Trujillo's leadership at Telstra would be ''considered a pivotal and critical period'' in the company's history.

The American leaves a year before the completion of his five-year ''transformation'' plan.

Mr Trujillo said he would work with the board and senior management to ensure a smooth transition.

The Wyoming-born native was hired for one of corporate Australia's most public jobs by Mr McGauchie four years ago to replace Ziggy Switkowski.

Mr Trujillo was brought in as a change agent for the lumbering, half-privatised business trying to find its way through a technology revolution.

That was just a year before the Howard Government planned the final selldown of its majority stake in Telstra dubbed T3.

The appointment of a replacement for Mr Trujillo, who began at Telstra in July 2005, could offer the company its only chance of re-entering the tender to build a $10 billion-plus a national high-speed broadband network in Australia.

The Federal Government excluded Telstra from the bidding process in December after its proposal failed to meet basic requirements.

The company has said the search will consider both internal and external candidates.

Investors have been seeking clarity on succession for Mr Trujillo and the risks to Telstra's longer term earnings from the growing likelihood of the Government awarding a competitor the right to build a national broadband network.

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27/02/2009 2:57:31 AM

As a share holder, I am staggered at the renumeration paid to CEO and directors (in general). What will this charactor be paid as a bonus for the reported lower profits? How about $10 million or perhaps $15 million? And the new CEO...$10-15 million, plus bonuses for sucess or failure. It is about time these people were paid realistic, much smaller amounts.
27/02/2009 5:36:41 AM

How many mobile towers could be erected with the payout that Sol receives? Adios Sol.
Common Cents
27/02/2009 6:36:47 AM

If the government is serious about putting money into restarting the economy, they could buy back Telstra. Then they could start on fullfilling all the hollow promises made to the bush. This would help get some dollars back to where they are needed to make things go again. But don't pay any more high exec salaries to filthy rich folk from overseas, who don't necessarily know what they are doing here. Return to a public service agenda for this essential service.
Richard Woolley
27/02/2009 1:42:35 PM

This payout is typical of the syndrome that has caused the global economic crises. It won't be the last either. It's time to stop the rort. What else can you say?...Sol, enjoy your retirement.
28/02/2009 6:30:24 AM

When a person has to supply a Doctor's certificate in order to get a phone fixed in 24 hours instead of waiting two weeks and it takes 5 days to convince telstra that there is no water in your phone line but there is no line as its laying on the roadway, I think it's time people like Mr Trujillo became redundant and more workers were employed to do the jobs as it used to be. In my opinion, these people are just figureheads, and as Mr Trujillo has decided to go whilst there is still some money about he has not fulfilled his contract and should not be paid bonuses to anything extra to the enourmous amount he already gets.
2/03/2009 5:52:08 AM

What has this person ever done!
High Country Gent
4/03/2009 5:53:51 AM

Farewell fat cat. back to the US. Perhaps you could leave some money here for a donation to charity.


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