Telstra appoints three new Group Executives aligned with strategic growth agenda

Media Release, 09 October 2015

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn today announced the appointment of three new Group Executives to further drive the company’s strategic growth agenda.

The roles bring together important areas of the business under leaders each reporting to Mr Penn. The new Group Executives are -

  • Karsten Wildberger, Group Executive Retail, currently Group Managing Director Consumer and acting Group Managing Director Products;
  • Cynthia Whelan, Group Executive International and New Businesses, currently Group Managing Director Strategic Finance and acting Group Executive International; and
  • Joe Pollard, Chief Marketing Officer and Group Executive Media, currently Group Managing Director Media and Marketing.

“Karsten, Cynthia and Joe are outstanding executives who have already made significant contributions to our growth ambitions and will take even larger roles in this new structure. They bring significant international experience prior to joining Telstra,” Mr Penn said.

“These positions reflect our commitment to improving consumer and product offers to customers through one laser-focused team, to elevate our media and marketing activities and align them across the business, and our continued focus on growth.”

Dr Wildberger will manage the Retail business including consumer and business divisions, product and digital business units with broader enterprise-wide responsibilities and a strong focus on customer advocacy. The portfolio represents a significant portion of the company’s revenue and profit.

Dr Wildberger joined Telstra in January 2013 as GMD Consumer and also assumed accountability as GMD Products from May 2015. He is a former partner and managing director with The Boston Consulting Group advising on telecommunications, technology, industrial goods and utilities globally. He held Executive Vice President roles in Finance, Sales and Marketing for Deutsche Telekom in the UK and Germany and senior leadership positions with Vodafone including Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO in Romania. He is a Director of the Telstra Foundation and Telstra Ventures.

Ms Whelan’s responsibilities will include driving growth initiatives into new markets, including Telstra Health, Telstra Ventures, Smart Home Solutions and new premium services, as well as Telstra’s international operations.  Responsibilities for Strategic Finance, including mergers and acquisitions, will remain with Chief Financial Officer Warwick Bray.

Ms Whelan came to Telstra in 2013 from her role as CEO of Barclays in Australia and New Zealand since 2010, having previously led Debt Capital Markets for Barclays across Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong.  Her investment banking career included roles at Merrill Lynch and UBS in Australia.  She is a Director on the Board of Autohome and the Chair of Telstra Ventures.

Ms Pollard will continue to lead all of Telstra’s media and marketing functions including the Chief Marketing Office.  She joined Telstra in November 2014 as GMD Media and Marketing after an extensive career in marketing, media and digital in Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, United States and Japan.  Her work history includes a decade with Nike globally, Nine Entertainment Co, CEO of ninemsn and CEO of Publicis Mojo.  She is a non-executive director of AMP Bank.

The new appointments are effective immediately.

Media contact: Catherine Harris +61 (0)477 747176