This morning NBN CEO Mike Quigley announced his resignation. Since then the internet, and media have been in a spin. The opposition are keen to point out the delays of the project and are laying the blame firmly at Quigley’s feet. After Conroy resigned last month I guess he’s next in the firing line.
Last week NBNCo announced they had connected more than 200,000 premises to the NBN, which is far short of initial estimates. The biggest cause of delays seems to be contractors not able to hit their deadlines. As the CEO of NBN, Quigley does hold some of the responsibility for this, however if contracts and penalties for not hitting targets were adequate, you’d have to think the numbers would be higher.
On the first of July, Australian Financial Review reported ‘sources close to the company’ said NBN CEO Chairwoman Siobhan McKenna hired a head-hunter to find a replacement. Opposition communication spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says this was the real reason why Quigley is leaving, or in fact pushed. It is possible that he had advise the board of NBNCo some time ago of his intention to leave and they began looking for his replacement.
Quigley says “the start-up, design work has been done. It is now a case of bedding it down and scaling it.” After 4 years in the job, it was unlikely that Quigley was ever going to see out the project till it’s completion after 2020.
Here’s the media release from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Anthony Albanese.
Retirement of Mike Quigley
The Government thanks Mike Quigley for his role in establishing NBN Co and rolling out a world-class communications network to all Australians.
Mr Quigley was the first employee of NBN Co and has overseen its development from the very beginning.
Mr Quigley came out of retirement to head NBN Co.
He was eager to join the project because he understood the importance of nation-building infrastructure that is essential for our nation’s economic future.
Mr Quigley also understands, intuitively, what all good infrastructure builders know: you do it once and you do it right.
Mr Quigley was instrumental in negotiating the deal with Telstra which has paved the way for the NBN rollout.
Over the past four years, Mr Quigley has also successfully managed the switching on of fibre, fixed wireless and satellite connections right across the country, as NBN Co has established the full scale rollout of the National Broadband Network.
Mr Quigley can be tremendously proud of what he has achieved.
On behalf of the Government and the Australian people, we wish to thank Mike Quigley for helping build the infrastructure Australia needs for the 21st century.
Ultimately the NBNCo will recruit a new CEO and they will be judged on their performance. The biggest impact on the project will be the election and a change of government, a change of approach and not a change in CEO.