Singapore Telecommunications announced the resignation of Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin in the wake of a widespread network outage that left nearly half of Australia’s population without phone or internet access for 12 hours.
The outage, affecting over 10 million Australians, triggered frustration and concern about the reliability of the country’s telecommunication infrastructure. Optus executives admitted during a parliamentary hearing that the company lacked a contingency plan for an outage of such magnitude.
In response to the outage fallout, Chief Financial Officer Michael Venter will step in as interim CEO, while former Optus Business Managing Director Peter Kaliaropoulos assumes the newly created role of chief operating officer.
Rosmarin’s decision to resign came after a period of personal reflection following the parliamentary hearing, where Optus executives disclosed the absence of contingency measures for such incidents.
“Having now had time for some personal reflection, I have come to the decision that my resignation is in the best interest of Optus moving forward,” Rosmarin stated.
During her tenure since April 2020, Rosmarin navigated Optus through significant challenges, including a major data breach that exposed the personal information of 10 million Australians. This incident led to legal actions and regulatory investigations.
The recent network blackout amplified concerns about Optus’ preparedness for such events. Executives revealed that the outage had unforeseen consequences, including failed calls to emergency services.
Singtel attributed the outage to a fault in Optus’ security systems, contradicting earlier suspicions of a routine software upgrade causing the disruption.
Despite Rosmarin’s achievements in enhancing Optus’ market share and financial performance, Singtel emphasized the need for the company to rebuild customer trust and confidence in the aftermath of the outage.
“We recognise the need for Optus to regain customer trust and confidence as the team works through the impact and consequences of the recent outage and continues to improve,” stated SingTel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon.