Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kohler has it half right

Alan Kohler has speculated on the Telstra NBN bid. Under his thesis the fact that McGauchie did all the spruiking of the bid for the NBN reflected a division between the Board and the CEO. Under this theory Sol didn't want to bid for the NBN, the Board did so the Board prepared the proposal.

This "Board preparation" piece is then used as the explanation of why the Small business plan was left out.

I suspect Kohler is half right. There is no doubt Telstra prepared a complete bid, they have so frequently told everyone what it would take, and why they are the only ones who can do it. The supposed reason for not bidding was the failure to get certainty out of the Government on the separation question. The practical reality of concern was that the Telstra bid would have provided a perfect blueprint for conducting the separation.

Clearly there was disagreement because it was left to such a late part in the process. My sense is that Trujillo wanted to bid but the Board didn't ... I could be wrong. I would be surprised if it were the other way round that Trujillo wouldn't have walked. Also the rejection of the "proposal" has brought Trujillo out in his most thunderous.

Either way I keep wondering when the institutions are going to tap Telstra's Board and say we've had enough of the Chair and CEO.

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