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He may have missed out on the big job at his former employer Alcatel-Lucent, but Australian and US telecoms veteran Mike Quigley has won the plum job of chairman of the National Broadband Network company (still formally known as NBNCo while it awaits a more glamorous brandname).

He may have missed out on the big job at his former employer Alcatel-Lucent, but Australian and US telecoms veteran Mike Quigley has won the plum job of chairman of the National Broadband Network company (still formally known as NBNCo while it awaits a more glamorous brandname).

Not only that: Quigley will also serve as CEO and managing director of the company, until further appointments are made. Some observers believe a new chairman could eventually be named, enabling Quigley to become fulltime CEO.
The rest of the board has yet to be named.

Former Telstra executive Doug Campbell will be chairman of Tasmania NBN Company, the Apple Isle outfit appointed to take charge of the first rollout of the NBN. Tasmania will kick-off the fibre-to-the-home NBN project, with 5000 homes and businesses in Smithton, Scottsdale and Midway Point slated to be the first to be wired.

The appointments ­ and the details of the Tassie rollout ­ were announced by PM Kevin Rudd during a visit to Tasmania at the weekend.

Quigley, now 56, narrowly missed out not once but twice on being named to head up Alcatel-Lucent, the uneasy amalgamation of French and US telecoms equipment giants formed in 2006. As COO of Alcatel USA, he was initially passed over for Patricia Russo when the new group was formed; then again last year when Russo quit after spatting with chairman Serge Tchuruk ­ and the job went instead to Dutchman Ben Verwaayen.

 

Born in England, Quigley was raised in Australia, and is a graduate of the University of NSW. He joined Alcatel, rising through the ranks to become GM for Australia and NZ in the late 1990s; and becoming COO of Alcatel USA in 2000, and later president of science, technology and strategy at the newly merged Alcatel-Lucent, until returning to Australia in 2007. In January this year he was named as a director of NICTA spin-off Audinate.

Announcing his appointment to NBNCo, Kevin Rudd noted Quigley had led the development and integration of large-scale, fibre-to-the-premise implementations for some of the largest US carriers.

“So, can I just say to you Mike, welcome on board and we look forward to working with you in laying out this important project for the nation,” Rudd said.

Rudd was in Hobart to open an Aurora Energy and NBN data centre. Political analysts were quick to note that two of the three Tasmanian towns he named for early connection to the FttH NBN ­ Scottsdale and Smithton – are in marginal Tasmanian electorates.

Rudd said it would take 12 months to establish the complete Tasmanian fibre network.

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