full opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay
12 September 2013
Image: Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency
Ziggy Switkowski spent just one year at Optus during a time of chaos, led Telstra into a deep stasis in the 2000′s and hasn’t touched the telecommunications industry for the past decade. And yet Communications Minister-elect Malcolm Turnbull reportedly thinks he’d make a great choice to run the National Broadband Network Company. Can I please have some of what he’s smoking?
If you read Australia’s business media over the past week, you would have been hard-pressed to escape the fact that several of its seasoned commentators, not to mention Malcolm Turnbull himself, appear to have some sort of steamy love affair going on behind the scenes with former Telstra and Optus chief executive Ziggy Switkowski, who rumours claim has been tapped on the shoulder by Turnbull to run NBN Co for the next several years.
‘Seasoned’ business commentator Terry McCrann — whose warblings for the Herald Sun your writer habitually regards with a high degree of suspicion — has appointed himself the leader of the love brigade, gushing that “Switkowski is precisely the best person” to reform Labor’s NBN project in the Coalition’s image.
“Not only,” raved McCrann, his heart fluttering rapidly in paroxyms of delight, had Switkowski spent time “inside the Telstra CEO’s office” (making it sound as though Switkowski was some kind of glorified secretary), but “he understands better than just about anybody both the business and technical dynamics for both Telstra and the broadband network”. Wow. An unqualified recommendation from a News Limited newspaper. Sounds objective.