Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow has been appointed as head of NBN Co and will lead the government-owned corporation through its upcoming transformation.
(Credit: NBN Co)
Morrow, who will leave his role as CEO of Vodafone to move to the company constructing the National Broadband Network, will inherit a position in charge of a political hot potato: NBN Co is in the middle of its own transformation under the auspices of cost-cutting and network design rationalisation.
The just-released NBN strategic review has led the Coalition to adopt a multi-technology model, or MTM, relying on the existing hybrid fibre-coaxial cable network as used by Telstra and Optus for 30 per cent of its roll-out, as well as roughly 44 per cent fibre to the node and 26 per cent fibre to the premises.
The work done by the NBN Co since its establishment in 2009 in rolling out a fibre-to-the-premises national broadband network will remain, but future work will be largely fibre to the node, using the technology long preferred by the Coalition.
Morrow's role in the next few years will be to consolidate the various technologies and shore up existing deals with contractors and companies like Telstra, whose long-running copper network will become the basis of the last mile of the FTTN roll-out.
"I staunchly believe that this important initiative, done right, will provide a boon to the nation's economy. The digital revolution is picking up speed. With the right infrastructure and industry collaboration, Australia will reap the benefits for decades to come," he said in a statement.
"While I am sad to be leaving a great company like Vodafone, I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and ensuring every Australian is able to benefit from a world-class National Broadband Network."
A track record in transforming under-performing companies was high on the NBN Co board's agenda in choosing a new CEO, according to executive chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski. Morrow joined Vodafone in early 2012 and was responsible for a slow return towards profitability for the ailing, third-placed mobile network.