Optus appoints chief operator

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Optus appoints chief operator

Separates division managers from O'Sullivan.

Optus has appointed former Hutchison 3 Australia CEO Kevin Russell as its second-in-command.

Russell has been named Optus' inaugural chief operating officer, charged with overseeing the consumer, small/medium business, and wholesale and satellite divisions.

He will also take charge of Optus subsidiary Virgin Mobile.

Scotland-born Russell, who lead Hutchison's burgeoning Australian operations between 2003 and 2006, most recently led the telco's British operations, including forging its first steps towards Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology.

He returned to Australia for a "six-month sabbatical" after quitting the British telco in June last year.

His appointment as COO at Optus effectively places the three current managers in each of the respective divisions - Michael Smith, Rohan Ganeson and Vicki Brady - a reporting step away from company chief, Paul O'Sullivan.

"Kevin's experience and this appointment will strengthen our ability to take full advantage of the opportunities emerging in our market. His track record in the industry speaks for itself," O'Sullivan said.

Russell's appointment comes as the company continues an internal restructure which saw 180 senior and middle managers axed.

The company has also appointed a new head of networks and director of consumer fixed-line networks over the past year.

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