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Tech Talk Radio Show 09 of 2009
Transmission date: March 2, 2009

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Ep 9: TTR Ep 0909: Goodbye Sol Trujillo, Facebook makes up the rules as it goes, Dr Ron buys an Android, NSW Police and mobile fingerprints Victoria Police send state wide SMS.

March 2 , 2009

Last Thursday Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo, possibly the most despised CEO in Australian corporate history, told the Telstra board and the shareholders that he would finish up at the end on June 30, 2009 and would not stay on as the CEO of the company. Trujillo announced his departure on the same morning Telstra announced a first-half net profit of $1.92 billion, down from $1.94 billion in the previous corresponding half.

Adios Amigo

The news was received by a range of sectors with one underlying message, Good bye and good riddance. It could also be argued that Trujillo’s reign has not been a happy time for shareholders: Telstra’s share price has fallen from $5.07 on the day he was appointed chief executive in July 2005 to around $3.73 at the time of his announcement.

Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, when asked about Sols planned returned to the US, responded with “Adios Amigo” with an undertone that typified the feelings of most Australians.

A senior research analyst from stockbroking firm EL and C Baillieu, Ivor Ries, says Mr Trujillo will be best remembered for his outspoken stance against the regulator and both the former and current Federal Governments.

He said “In terms of public perception, he and his colleagues, Phil Burgess etc, were seen as real stirrers and trouble makers and I'm not sure whether it actually helped improve the Telstra brand at all, but as far as the major shareholders were concerned, they were happy with the way he behaved and what he did."

The Union representing 12,000 Telstra employees says it hopes Mr Trujillo's resignation will lead to a change of attitude within the company about ongoing wage negotiations. And change is what the company now needs more than ever.

Return to the shareholders were nearly always at the top of Sol’s adgenda. Everything he did was always spun back for the good of the share holders, so for this, he was to be admired. His undoing was his misunderstanding that the shareholders were Australian, and Australia was falling backwards in technological advancements compared to the rest of the world because of his policies. If he was doing it for the country then he would be doing it for shareholders. But alas, it wasn’t to be.

Instead, he leaves Telstra, and the country with more than $20m in his pocket for the years work, and in his wake, a company which is now despised by most Australians, share prices that have never been lower, and more disheartend, disgruntelled and apathetic employees than you can count.
His departure news comes one month after Telstra announced chief operations officer Greg Winn was leave the company to return to the United States.

This week on TTR

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Google pledges to support EU's Microsoft case