Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin resigns following nationwide telecom outage – today news

  • November 20, 2023

Optus CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, has stepped down from her position less than a fortnight after the Australian telecommunications giant grappled with a severe nationwide disruption, Bloomberg reported.

The 12-hour-long telecom disruption on November 8 resulted in widespread disconnection for millions of Optus mobile and internet users across Australia.

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Moreover, critical sections of the country’s public transport system were rendered inoperable. The outage also led to the failure of hundreds of emergency calls intended for police, ambulances, and firefighters.

Mounting Pressure

Following her appearance last week in a parliamentary inquiry investigating the outage, Bayer Rosmarin faced escalating pressure to quit her position.

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The inquiry highlighted that Optus, a subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications, lacked a specific contingency plan to address a comprehensive network breakdown. Additionally, Bayer Rosmarin evaded queries about her future during the probe.

Her departure marks a significant development in the aftermath of the recent network failure, underscoring the mounting challenges faced by the telecommunications giant in managing and preparing for such crises.

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Cyberattack Risk

Notably, this time’s outage isn’t the first blunder under Bayer Rosmarin’s leadership. Earlier in September, Optus suffered a cyberattack that potentially exposed customers’ personal, identifiable information, as per a Wall Street Journal report. The company had then said it had shut down the attack and was working with authorities to investigate the matter.

“While not everyone may be affected and our investigation is not yet complete, we want all of our customers to be aware of what has happened as soon as possible so that they can increase their vigilance. We are very sorry and understand customers will be concerned,” Bayer Rosmarin said in a statement. 

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Optus said that information including customers’ names, dates of birth, phone numbers, and email addresses may have been exposed, but that payment details and account passwords haven’t been compromised. A subset of customers’ addresses and ID document numbers may also have been exposed, it said in a release.


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Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 07:29 AM IST

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