Realignment for Telstra Application Ventures Group

Media Release, 31 January 2013

Telstra’s Application Ventures Group Managing Director Deena Shiff will step down as a Telstra executive, effective today, to focus on a non-executive career and directorships.

Responsibility for AVG activities will continue to be governed through the AVG board led by Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director for Telstra Innovation Products and Marketing and Andy Penn, Chief Financial Officer. 

Ms Shiff will remain available to support Telstra’s AVG investments as an adviser to AVG or Director on the Boards of its investment companies.
Telstra CEO David Thodey today thanked Deena for her many contributions to the Telstra business.  “We wish Deena well as she embarks on a new stage of her career and continues to champion new and emerging digital businesses.”

Matthew Koertge, Managing Director AVG Australia and Mark Sherman, Managing Director AVG US, will jointly lead the AVG team  and join the AVG Board to succeed Deena.  Koertge and Sherman have extensive experience in venture capital and investment banking before joining AVG in late 2011 and early 2012 respectively.

Ms Shiff joined the CEO Leadership Team in 2005 as GMD Wholesale and subsequently established and led Telstra Business from 2006 to 2011.  She established AVG in 2011 as a corporate venture capital arm to invest in companies which provide Telstra with access to innovation.

AVG has grown as a team of experienced professionals based in San Francisco and Australia selecting and managing minority investments in emerging high growth companies,  leveraging Telstra’s assets and distribution and enabling Telstra to offer new services to its customers.  Key investments so far include Ooyala, Dimmi, Mandoe, IPscape and Whispir.