Vocus hires Kevin Russell as new chief

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Vocus hires Kevin Russell as new chief

Exec brought in to lead troubled telco.

Vocus has secured the services of long-time retail telecommunications executive Kevin Russell as its new CEO following Geoff Horth’s exit in February.

Russell will join Vocus on May 28 with fixed remuneration of $1.1 million, the telco said in financial filings.

He comes into Vocus after most recently completing a stint as Telstra’s group executive of retail. Russell has also previously led Optus’ consumer business.

However, he is probably best known in Australia as the former CEO of Hutchison Telecommunications, presiding over the Orange One CDMA service and its rebranding as ‘Three’.

Vocus said that Russell’s “deep understanding of the Australian landscape, particularly the NBN and how it is shaping the local telecommunications industry” proved particularly attractive.

The telco is one of only a handful to consistently publish numbers on the unprofitability of NBN connections compared to ADSL.

The permanent CEO appointment means that interim CEO Michael Simmons will move back to running Vocus’ enterprise and wholesale business

Vocus is currently in the process of transforming its operations in order to better integrate businesses it has acquired.

It is also preparing for the launch of the Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC), significantly ramping up business development efforts in the past few months as it seeks to capitalise on being the first new cable on the route between South East Asia and Western Australia.

The company has also tried to sell parts of its business it has deemed non-core, but failed to offload its NZ business in this fashion. 

It is still trying to sell its Australian data centre business.

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