Optus Senate inquiry LIVE updates: Kelly Bayer Rosmarin to front committee over telco’s nationwide network outage

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  • Optus CEO ‘considers stepping down’: report
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Optus CEO ‘considers stepping down’: report

Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is considering resigning from her position, the Australian Financial Review is reporting.

The executive, who is set to appear alongside Optus’ network business chief Lambo Kanagaratnam at a two-hour Senate hearing today, could leave as early next week, the newspaper reports.

Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin talking last year about the hack: “We recognise the significant concern it has caused many people.”Credit: AFR

Bayer Rosmarin has served as Optus boss since April 2020, and was previously an executive at CBA.

Both the outage and last year’s cyberattack have cost Optus hundreds of millions of dollars; damaged the company’s brand, and its relationship with Australian state and federal governments, businesses and customers; resulted in legal action; and triggered multiple government and regulatory reviews.

Bayer Rosmarin has been widely criticised for mishandling both crises, reports Anne Hyland, and slammed for poor communication and transparency. It has raised questions about her future leading Optus. Earlier this year, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce retired after a backlash from customers over years of poor service.

The key questions Kelly Bayer Rosmarin must answer

Last week’s outage left some 10 million Australians without phone service or access to the internet, and crippled access to vital triple-zero emergency services for some customers.

Here are the key questions Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Optus boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin must answer at today’s hearing.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“How many people were unable to dial 000 during the 14-hour outage? Why did Optus fail so dismally to communicate to the public and their customers?” Senator Hanson-Young told this masthead on Thursday.

“How can the tokenistic offer of 200GB of data possibly constitute fair compensation for those who were unable to work, contact loved ones or go about their daily lives? Did Optus put its profits ahead of the public interest?

“I will be asking what happened and what Optus is doing to ensure this kind of catastrophic failure does not happen again.”

Optus boss prepares to front inquiry

Good morning and thanks for joining us. Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is preparing to defend her leadership publicly this morning after two high-profile disasters within 13 months, fronting a two-hour Senate grilling from 9am AEDT.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin will front the committee this morning.Credit: Michael Quelch

Bayer Rosmarin has presided over both one of the nation’s worst outages and one of Australia’s worst data breaches in recent history, heaping pressure on the leader of what is Australia’s second-largest telco.

Hanson-Young will chair the Senate hearing, to be heard under the auspices of the Senate standing committees on environment and communications. It’s the first of a number of probes into the outage including post-incident reviews by both the Communications Department and communications watchdog, the Australian Communications Media Authority.

Lambo Kanagaratnam, the managing director of networks at Optus, will join Bayer Rosmarin.

We’ll be bringing you live updates throughout this morning’s hearing and a live video stream of the inquiry.

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