NBN chief executive resigns: Stephen Rue to depart as he is named new CEO of Optus

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
2 Min Read
NBN's chief executive Stephen Rue has resigned.
NBN's chief executive Stephen Rue has resigned. Credit: Jim Rice/Supplied

The company responsible for Australia’s National Broadband Network has announced the resignation of its chief executive as he prepares to take on a new role as CEO for a major Australian telco.

Announcing the resignation on Monday morning, NBN Co revealed current chief executive Stephen Rue, who has been in the position for six years, will depart to become the chief executive at Optus later this year.

Mr Rue was responsible for the rollout of the National Broadband Network, which expanded broadband access to millions of Australians and enhanced the nation’s digital infrastructure.

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In a statement, Mr Rue said: “It has been an enormous privilege to work alongside a talented team dedicated to connecting Australians to high-quality broadband services across the country.”

“We are transforming Australia’s digital landscape, connecting millions of homes and businesses to high-speed broadband, and laying the foundation for future innovation and data growth,” the statement continued.

“And we have delivered fast and reliable broadband to even the most remote areas of Australia, continuously working to bridge the digital divide, lifting the digital capability of our nation and empowering communities.

Kate McKenzie, NBN Co’s chair, praised Rue’s leadership and said: “Stephen has consistently delivered against challenging targets and has fostered a strong culture of purpose, innovation, collaboration and excellence within the company.”

“Under his leadership, NBN completed the initial build of the network on time in December 2020, reached the milestone of connecting more than 8.5 million homes and businesses; and set the company on the next phase of its journey to become a fully operational customer focused company.”

NBN has announced chief financial officer Philip Knox will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Optus chairman Paul O’Sullivan said, “Stephen was chosen after a rigorous process that involved a slate of high-quality candidates.

“We’re extremely pleased to have someone of his calibre to lead the next chapter at Optus. His experience in setting up the digital backbone of Australia will serve us well as we reinvigorate Optus as Australia’s leading challenger telecommunications brand. We expect Stephen’s operational and financial background to lift service standards significantly for the benefit of our customers.”

Mr Rue will also step down from his position as an Executive Director on the NBN Co Board.

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