Telstra appoints McGauchie new chairman

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Telstra, Australia's largest phone company, has appointed Donald McGauchie as its new chairman, replacing John Ralph who has been acting in the role since Bob Mansfield quit earlier this year.

In April, former chairman Mansfield resigned suddenly, after an abortive run at buying the newspaper group John Fairfax. Mansfield was famously reported as saying there had been a rupture in the bond of trust on the board.

McGauchie, 54, has been a non-executive director of Telstra since 1998 and also sits on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, James Hardie Industries NV and Nufarm, Telstra said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

"I look forward to working with the Board and the CEO Ziggy Switkowski to implement the strategic direction outlined in the Board's recent capital management statement," McGauchie said in a statement.

"Telstra has reached an important phase in its development -- our great challenge now is to deliver shareholder value," he said.

The Australian Government, which owns a majority stake in Telstra, was consulted on the appointment and had no objections, the company said.

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