Will The Protection Of Singtel Management Continue After Optus Network Crash?
OPINION UPDATE: Insiders were claiming that Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin will survive in her job, after a shocker of a Senate performance, because she openly protected Singtel management the owner of Optus and the network it runs on, others were saying she had to go.
The question is whether the CEO who appears to be more interested, in her own image, and the woke culture that Optus has a reputation would survive the marketplace of public opinion and the constant reminders that she is a CEO who has screwed up on multiple occasions.
Now she has quit in an early morning decision that was inevitable.
She is the carrier CEO who outlined a tyranny of problems at last week’s Senate inquiry that contributed to the crash and is now being slammed by the media who see her as a dud CEO who had to keep referring to her mobile phone for prompts from her advisers as she was grilled by the Federal Senate inquiry.
Liberal senator Sarah Henderson said Optus’ 10.2 million customers would not be impressed by the chief executive’s evidence at the inquiry.
The reality is that Singtel are front and centre of the problems, that Optus now face, and despite the Optus network not being fit for purpose, failing to be able to host the men’s Soccer World Cup because of network problems, then having to manage one of Australia’s biggest hack attack of their network, and last week the crash of the entire network, which network management now claim had never been fully tested for a failure, Singapore Telecom Directors who were in Australia at the time have remained silent.
Hours after the attack Singtel chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon who was in Australia for both the hack attack and the latest network crash did find time to announce that Singtel had posted an 83 per cent increase in earnings to A$ 3.28 billion for the six months to Sept 30.
Recently Singtel’s moved to merge its consumer and enterprise divisions across both Singapore and their Australia into one network operation.
“However, we have to wait and see if this translates into meaningful margin expansion,” CEO Moon said the day after the Optus network failure.
Singtel’s ability to scale its growth engines – multinational information technology subsidiary NCS and the data-centre business under Digital InfraCo which manages the Optus network is key to Singtel’s future network revenues.
During the enire time that the Singtel board were in Australia last week, they remained resiliently silent instead they are letting CEO Rosmarin be the sacrificial lamb for the Singapore network Company.
This is a management team who were not even smart enough to send out an operational memo warning management such as CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin or Optus network CEO Lambo Kanagaratnam, who appeared with Ms Bayer Rosmarin at the inquiry that they should carry multiple SIMS if the Optus network ever went down.
Then there was the shock comment by network boss Lambo Kanagaratnam at the inquiry that “We (Singtel & Optus) didn’t have a plan in place for that specific scale of outage. It was unexpected. We have high levels of redundancy and it’s not something that we expect to happen,” Kanagaratnam told the Senate inquiry.
Questions are also being asked of his position and whether he will last. ChannelNews understands that he reports direct to Singtel management because Optus CEO does not have any network experience.
Singtel directors are the ultimate controllers of the network. and they are the ones who should have insisted on management carrying multiple SIMS and the network is regularly tested for a full failure.
Then there is the issue of the so-called independent Deloitte report into the Optus 2022 cyber-attack, that mysteriously Optus and the Singtel board want to keep secret.
Optus appointed consultants Deloitte to review its security systems and do a forensic investigation into the September 2022 attacks which led to the personal information of some 10,200 customers – including passport, driver’s licence, and Medicare numbers – being posted online.
The concept of “An independent report” sounded like a good idea at the time especially as it took the heat out of the anger people were expressing at the time as well as the legal profession who saw dollars out of a class action.
Chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said at the time that the consultant’s investigation would “play a crucial role” in Optus’ response to the attack and that it might “help others in the private and public sector”.
Suddenly and after the report was handed over to Optus, management had a change of attitude with the report suddenly off limits.
Some insiders claim that the report contains information about the Optus network and the actions of Singtel and that information in the report will be damaging for the Companies involved.
Earlier this month Optus has lost a bid in the federal court to keep the report secret.
Federal Court Judge Beach rejected the telco’s legal privilege claim.
The Judge slammed Optus for trying to keep the report secret with his decision putting further pressure on chief executive Rosmarin, to be more transparent after coming under attack for her handling of this week’s network crash.
Beach ruled that Optus had “not made good their claim of privilege” over the review that had told the public was to help others understand what went wrong so they could avoid similar attacks.
The effort to produce the report, involving Optus, consultants Deloitte and lawyers Ashurst, was known internally as “Project Amsterdam”.
Optus recruited Deloitte to conduct the forensic assessment of what had led to the cyber-attack.
Since then, the company has also faced an investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and a class action case in the federal court.
As part of the class action case, law firm Slater and Gordon, acting for the applicants, sought access to the Deloitte report that was never made public.
The decision by the Federal Court came only days before lawyers were again lining up to take legal action against Optus over the latest 14-hour network crash that took mobile and internet services down for 10 million customers, delayed trains, disconnected call centres and hospital phone lines and stopped hundreds of people making emergency calls.
This time round company has not announced any independent report into the incident, but it is now subject to two government investigations.
At the end of the day the reputation of Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has been trashed by her own actions, that of management under her control, and more so by an owner Singtel. and their board who are cowering behind her as she takes the flack.
She cannot come back from this and what is now needed is a complete cleanout of CEO, Media advisors and network management, before business put the pointy end of their brand and business in the hands of a network that is more about failures than delivering a solid network that people can depend on.