Turnbull appoints Switkowski as NBN chair
- 03 October, 2013 15:54
Communications minster Malcolm Turnbull has appointed former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski as chairman of the NBN Co board.
Switkowski will lead a board of three, comprising of fellow directors Kerry Schott and Alison Lansley following a press conference at Parliament House.
Turnbull said the government intended to nominate additional non-executive directors to the boards shortly, while Switkowski would act in a temporary capacity as chief executive of NBN Co until a permanent replacement was found.
The announcement follows speculation former Leighton Holdings chief executive Wal King was to be name as a director.
Fairfax media reports today allege that internal company documents revealed bribery and corruption at Leighton Holdings.
Turnbull also released the terms of reference of the 60-day strategic review, which is now officially underway.
"In a nutshell the terms of reference will tell all of the Australian people what the status of the project is at the moment, how much it is going to to cost and how long it will take under the current plan," he said.
"What savings both in cost and time can be made to the project if variations are made to the current plan such as an increased use of Fibre-to-the-Node, as we set out in our policy."
Mr Turbull said he was determined to deliver the NBN sooner and cheaper and that NBN Co had engaged a head hunting firm to recruit a permanent chief executive, while defending Switkowski's record at Telstra.
"I am not going to get in an argument over Telstra's share price," he said.
"We have appointed one of the most experienced telecom executives in Australia."
When asked about about any possible connection between NBN Co and former Leighton Holdings chief Wal King, Turnbull was tightlipped.
"As far as Mr King is concerned I have been very rigorous in not making any comments to the orgy of speculation about who may or may not be appointed to the board of NBN Co, most of which I have to say has been wrong," he said.
"I have got nothing to say about potential new directors other than it's the government's intention to appoint them shortly and as you can imagine we are going through a very careful and methodical process looking at various candidates for these important roles."
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