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Kevin Russell Leaves Telstra After 18 Months, 6 Months Less Than He Lasted At Optus

First It was Vodafone, then Optus, now Kevin Russell the former group executive of consumer and small business at Telstra has again been moved on after just 18 months.

Russell who famously claimed that Optus had been “deliberately overcharged their customers for years” at an Optus Xmas party. He went on to admit that if consumers don’t complain Optus will make an “extra whopping bit of revenue”.

Now Kevin Russell is in the job market after parting Company with Telstra effective immediately. He is being replaced by another former Optus executive, Vicki Brady who joined Telstra in mid-2016 as group managing director of consumer.
“We are grateful for the contributions which Kevin Russell made during his time with Telstra and wish him all the best for the future,” Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said.

“Vicki brings a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge in the Australian telecommunications sector. Since joining Telstra, she has proven herself leading our contact centers, stores, digital channels, business centres, licensee and partner arrangements as well as demonstrating an unrelenting focus on customer experience,” Mr. Penn said.

“She has a strong track record of improving customer experiences, leading product simplification and delivering outstanding commercial results. She is highly regarded internally and externally and will make a strong addition to my leadership team.”

Ms. Brady was previously Optus managing director of marketing and products. She will report to Mr. Penn.

18 months ago, Russell was slagging off Optus prior to being employed by Telstra.

He told Telstra executives that h found Optus’ Singapore-based parent company, Singtel, “too controlling” and was the reason he resigned after just under 24 months in the job.

In 2014, Russell openly admitted Optus had screwed customers and engaged in some pretty “crap” behavior.

At the time, he denied that he was pushed out of Optus, insisting the decision to leave was entirely his own and has nothing to do with SingTel.

He is also a Former Director at Hutchison Telecommunications Australia, half owners of Vodafone Australia.

The Australian claims that it seems Russell and Telstra boss Andy Penn didn’t always see eye-to-eye. They said that It was notable in this year’s remuneration table the retail boss picked up just 32 per cent of his short-term bonus, the lowest of the executive group, which averaged 41.3 per cent.

Russell, a highly regarded former boss of Hutchinson in Australia, had worked in a host of senior jobs at telcos around the world, most recently Optus, before taking on the Telstra role last year.

He joined at a crucial time, with Optus and Vodafone picking up the pace in the mobile phone war and the NBN opening its fixed-line customers to be taken en masse by rival retail providers.

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