Former Microsoft Devices Group executive vice-president, Stephen Elop, has joined Telstra in a newly created role. Elop will be the company’s technology, innovation, and strategy group executive and will be responsible for leading Telstra’s strategic direction.
The technology, innovation, and strategy portfolio brings together aligned lines of business including the chief technology office, chief scientist, Telstra Software group, and corporate strategy with strong links into product development functions.
Elop will report directly to Telstra CEO, Andrew Penn, when he commences his role on April 4, and will be jointly based in the US and Australia.
Penn said Elop will play a significant part in reinforcing Telstra’s ambitions to be a world-class technology company.
“Stephen will immediately add major firepower to our team with his extensive and seep technology experience and an innate sense of customer expectations. He is a recognised international technology leader and strategist from across a range of global organisations,” he said.
Besides Microsoft, Elop has also held global executive roles with Nokia, Juniper, Adobe, and Macromedia.
Elop was CEO of Nokia between September 2010 and September 2013, when it was announced that Micrisift was acquiring Nokia’s mobile and services business, at which time he became the executive vice-president of devices and services effective from the deal’s completion.
Upon closure of the deal, he became executive vice-president of the Microsoft Devices group and was in that role till July 2015.
Prior to Nokia, he was the president of the Microsoft Business division for almost three years. He also served at Juniper Networks as its chief operating officer for a year, and at Adobe Systems as its WWFO president for more than a year.
In addition, he was at Macromedia as its CEO and a range of other roles over his eight year tenure with the company.
“I have long recognised the Telstra team as one of the most innovative and insightful in the telecommunications industry. Telstra has a strong focus on its customers, and a willingness to invest in advanced products and services to best serve those customers.
“I am excited to be joining the team at a particularly unique moment of opportunity for Telstra,” Elop said.
Telstra has also hired Kevin Russell as its retail group executive. He replaces Karsten Wildberger, who resigned from the company in December last year to return to Europe.
Russell is currently CEO for a Silicon Valley-based technology start-up.
Russell has also held executive roles for Singtel Optus, having worked as its country chief officer and Australia consumer CEO. He also held senior positions at Hutchison Whampoa group in Australia and internationally.
Wildberger will finish with Telstra on March 31, with short-term arrangements in place until Russell commences in late April.