- Who is Christine Holgate?
- NBN Co Acquisition
- Australia Post
According to a report, former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate wanted the postal agency to acquire NBN Co. Five different sources are cited stating that Holgate actively canvassed the move was cited by the paper. The sources divulged that she even hired the consultancy services of seasoned telco executive Greg Adcock to advise her on the idea. Indeed, Adcock was hired as a consultant to Australia Post for a couple of years between early 2018 and early 2020.
Who is Christine Holgate?
Holgate was a former Telstra executive between 2002 and 2008. Before that, she rendered her services at Cable & Wireless for more than a decade. During her term in Australia Post, she aimed to acquire street furniture such as post boxes to foster a national WiFi network. According to the reports, “Ms. Holgate also spoke about installing WiFi nodes on top of red post boxes, which would have required them to be connected to power and telecommunication services.”
On the other hand, Adcock was also an executive at Telstra during the same time as Holgate, between 2002 and 2008. To advance in her career, she went on to helm vitamin marketer Blackmores. Adcock then went onto NBN Co in a senior executive position. In 2016, Adcock left NBN Co. From there, he went on to board roles at Opticomm and ServiceStream.
For over a decade already, Australia Post had goals of making a big foray into telecoms. In fact, for this exact purpose, former Optus executive Maha Krishnapallai was hired in 2011. This was when former Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour was set to launch an MVNO. Nevertheless, this move was eventually toned down but then, Australia Post offered a wide range of telecom services. In this case, the company resold Telstra and Optus mobile plans and even introduced mobile services with their own branding in 2019. Australia Post is said to explore the telco space because of its advantages in the retail presence, mass customer interaction, identity verification, as well as in the transactions and logistics realm. With this, Australia Post has annual revenues of around $7.5b and around 35,000 employees.
The differences between Holgate and the federal government over the future direction of Australia Post were further discussed in the newspaper report. These differences came to light as a result of the current controversy over the reason why Holgate decided to leave the agency in the final quarter of last year.