Optus CEO Steps Down Amidst Network Outage and Data Breach Crisis 23


The telecommunications landscape in Australia faced a seismic shift as Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, CEO of Optus, resigned in the wake of a massive network outage and one of the country’s largest data breaches. This abrupt departure comes at a pivotal moment for Optus, Australia’s second-largest telco, and raises questions about the company’s preparedness for unforeseen challenges. Let’s delve into the details of this significant development.

The Unprecedented Network Outage

Optus board

The catalyst for Rosmarin’s resignation was a recent network-wide outage that left nearly half of Australia’s 26 million people without phone or internet for a staggering 12 hours. This incident not only fueled frustration among customers but also raised concerns about the robustness of the telecommunications infrastructure. The outage, termed as one of the most significant in recent history, prompted a parliamentary hearing where Optus executives admitted to having no contingency plan in place for an outage of such magnitude.

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Resignation Amidst Controversies

Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s decision to step down as CEO comes on the heels of intense scrutiny. During a parliamentary hearing, it was revealed that Optus had not foreseen a network-wide outage, leading to the absence of a backup plan. Rosmarin expressed her decision to resign after personal reflection, citing the best interests of Optus moving forward. Her tenure, which began in April 2020, faced considerable challenges, including a massive data breach that exposed the personal data of 10 million Australians, triggering legal actions and regulatory investigations.

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Interim Leadership and Future Prospects

In the interim, Chief Financial Officer Michael Venter will assume the role of CEO. Singtel, Optus’ parent company, emphasized that Rosmarin significantly contributed to the company’s market share growth and improved financial performance. However, acknowledging the need to rebuild customer trust, SingTel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon stated that the team is working to address the impact of the recent outage and enhance Optus’ reliability.

Root Cause Analysis: Security Systems Fault

Singtel revealed that a fault in Optus’ security systems, not a routine software upgrade as initially suspected, was responsible for the network failure. This revelation underscores the critical importance of robust security measures in the telecommunications industry and highlights the need for proactive system monitoring.

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Optus’ Path Forward: Regaining Customer Trust

While Optus faces challenges stemming from the recent outage and data breach, the company is focused on regaining customer trust and confidence. The appointment of Peter Kaliaropoulos to the newly created position of chief operating officer signals a strategic move to reinforce the telco’s operational capabilities and navigate through the aftermath of recent controversies.


The resignation of Kelly Bayer Rosmarin marks a pivotal moment for Optus, prompting a reassessment of its operational strategies and crisis preparedness. As the telco giant navigates through these challenges, the focus on rebuilding customer trust and fortifying security measures will be crucial for its future success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: How long was the recent network outage that led to the CEO’s resignation?
    • A: The network outage lasted for a substantial 12 hours, impacting over 10 million Australians.
  2. Q: What was the primary cause of the network failure, according to Singtel?
    • A: Singtel revealed that a fault in Optus’ security systems, not a routine software upgrade, caused the network failure.
  3. Q: Who will serve as the interim CEO following Rosmarin’s resignation?
    • A: Chief Financial Officer Michael Venter will serve as the interim CEO during this transitional period.
  4. Q: How did the recent network outage affect emergency services in Australia?
    • A: During the outage, hundreds of calls to the Australian emergency hotline Triple-0 failed, highlighting the broader impact on critical services.
  5. Q: What measures is Optus taking to rebuild customer trust and confidence?
    • A: Optus is actively working to address the consequences of the recent outage, improve reliability, and rebuild customer trust.

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