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IS Telstra Boss Andy Penn Set To Be Replaced By A Female?

Andy Penn the struggling CEO of Telstra threw everything at it this week in an effort to convince the market that he is the man to steer Telstra as the Telco implodes with close to 10,000 staff set to be sacked under Penn’s watch now some are saying that he could be replaced by a female CEO.

But the market has not bought his spin with investors taking the share value down another 1.8% yesterday to languish at $2.72 and internally senior management tipping that the next CEO could be a woman with current Telstra executive Vicki Brady being tipped as a potential candidate.

The lukewarm response from investors has put further pressure on Penn, with some senior staff tipping a management change this year.

Currently Vicki Brady is Group Executive Director Telstra Consumer & Small Business.

She took on this role in September 2017.

Prior to this role she was Group Managing Director, Telstra Sales & Service between June 2016 and September 2017 and Group Managing Director, Telstra Consumer from June 2016 to June 2017.

Prior to joining Telstra, Vicki held senior leadership roles with Optus where she was Managing Director, Marketing & Products in Australia between April 2015 and June 2016.

The telco’s shares had already dropped 5 per cent to $2.77 on Wednesday in response to Penn’s‘‘Telstra2022’’ update, and have now slid more than 36 per cent over the past year.

Penn’s restructure will see Telstra shed between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs, jobs over the next three years, they also plan to split its infrastructure and mobile businesses, as it moves to slash an additional $1 billion of costs by 2022.

CLSA analyst Roger Samuel, who has downgraded Telstra to a “sell”, said Telstra’s core business remained under severe pressure.

Opinion continues to be largely divided on the outlook of Telstra. One of the most bearish brokers is Citi. A note out of the investment bank yesterday reveals that it has retained its sell rating and slashed its price target to a lowly $2.30.

This price target implies potential downside of over 15% from last nights close price.

According to the note, the broker has reiterated its view that Telstra’s dividend is unsustainable and believes that it will be cut to at least 10 cents per share from FY 2021.