​Ex-Telstra COO takes over as Chorus CEO

​Ex-Telstra COO takes over as Chorus CEO

Former Telstra executive set to replace the departing Mark Ratcliffe in the hot seat.

Kate McKenzie - CEO, Chorus

Kate McKenzie - CEO, Chorus

Credit: Chorus

Chorus has appointed Kate McKenzie as its new CEO, with the former Telstra COO set to replace the departing Mark Ratcliffe in the hot seat.

With Ratcliffe first announcing his intention to depart the telco in August, the industry veteran will exit the New Zealand business in the coming months, with McKenzie joining the organisation in February 2017.

Before her departure from Telstra in July, McKenzie was responsible for the telco’s field services, IT and network architecture and operations.

Prior to that, McKenzie was group managing director of innovation, products and marketing, as well as stints across wholesale, regulatory, public policy and communications.

“The Board is very pleased that Kate has agreed to lead Chorus,” Chorus chairman, Patrick Strange, said.

“She is one of the most highly rated telecommunications executives in the region. We believe the combination of Kate’s clear leadership qualities and her broad range of relevant experience made her the standout choice in a field of high quality candidates.

“We look forward to Kate leading Chorus’ people to build on the excellent platform left for her by Mark Ratcliffe, and the successful roll out of Ultra-fast Broadband.”

Prior to joining Telstra, McKenzie was a CEO in the NSW Government of the Departments of Commerce, Industrial Relations and the Workcover Authority.

McKenzie worked in the Cabinet Office on the development and implementation of competition policy, energy reform, privatisation and a range of complex Commonwealth/State negotiations.

“As a provider of strategically critical infrastructure, Chorus has a pivotal role to play in New Zealand’s future and I am looking forward to contributing to the next stage of its development, with a strong focus on delivering great experiences for customers,” McKenzie said.

“I have admired Chorus’ roll out of very high quality broadband infrastructure and I look forward to playing my part in working with the rest of the telecommunications sector to make it as easy as possible for our customers to enjoy the benefits of this nation-wide upgrade and all of the social and economic benefits that will deliver.”

Following a handover period in February, Strange said Ratcliffe will officially step down from the role.

“Having skillfully navigated through the establishment of Chorus and some tumultuous years, Mark can step down knowing the fibre rollout is going well, the company is in a strong position and it has been recognised as one of the best employers in Australasia for five consecutive years,” Strange added.

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