In a significant turn of events, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, the chief executive of Australian telecommunications giant Optus, has resigned from her position following a widespread network outage that impacted the nation. This decision comes after a challenging three-year tenure for Rosmarin, during which she also faced criticism for a major data breach.
After careful consideration, Rosmarin concluded that her resignation was necessary for the betterment of Optus moving forward. “It has been an honor to serve,” she stated. Optus, meanwhile, will be appointing chief financial officer Michael Venter as interim CEO while they search for a permanent replacement.
The CEO of Optus’s parent company in Singapore acknowledged Rosmarin’s efforts during a difficult period. Yuen Kuan Moon emphasized her achievement in improving the firm’s financial performance despite her appointment coinciding with the onset of the pandemic. However, Moon expressed understanding and support for her decision to resign, emphasizing Optus’ commitment to rebuilding customer trust and prioritizing community and customer benefits moving forward.
The nation-wide outage on November 8 left nearly half of Australia’s population without mobile or internet coverage for over 12 hours. The disruption had wide-ranging consequences, causing transportation delays, hospital phone line disruptions, payment system failures, and even preventing approximately 200 individuals from contacting emergency services.
Notably, Rosmarin has been subject to criticism regarding her handling of the incident, a situation that she addressed during a Senate hearing. In addition, Optus is currently facing a class-action lawsuit from over 100,000 present and former customers due to the September 2022 data breach. At the time, this breach was considered one of the most severe in Australian history, impacting 10 million people. While Optus attributed the breach to a sophisticated cyber-attack, critics, including the Minister for Cyber Security, disputed this explanation and claimed that the company left its data open to theft.
Who has replaced Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as the CEO of Optus?
Michael Venter, the chief financial officer, has been appointed as the interim CEO while Optus searches for a permanent replacement.
What were the consequences of the nationwide outage?
The outage led to significant disruptions, including transport delays, hospital phone line failures, payment system shutdowns, and difficulties in calling emergency services, affecting approximately 10 million Australians.
What was the reason behind the class-action lawsuit against Optus?
The lawsuit stems from a major data breach in September 2022, which impacted over 100,000 current and former customers. Critics argued that Optus was responsible for the breach by leaving its data vulnerable to theft.
What is Optus’ plan to regain customer trust and confidence?
Optus aims to embark on a path of renewal to rebuild trust and provide better services to its customers and the community.