Telstra shares fall on the ASX amid news of the Optus CEO resigning

The Optus CEO has called it quits.

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The Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is down 0.5% amid news that the Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has decided to resign.

Readers may remember that the Optus network failed nationally a few weeks ago. It disrupted hospitals, trains, emergency calls and caused widespread disruption.

Last week, Bayer faced the Australian Senate to explain why the Optus network failed, what the telco did and how it recovered. Telstra shares initially rose amid the outage problems. After that appearance, she has fallen on her metaphorical sword.

Optus CEO resigns

In an announcement to the Singapore Stock Exchange, parent Singtel revealed that Bayer Rosmarin had resigned.

Singtel pointed out that under her leadership, Optus had delivered "improved financial performance, market share gains, innovation and higher employment engagement."

The Singtel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon said:

Optus appointed Kelly at the beginning of the pandemic, and we acknowledge her leadership, commitment and hard work throughout what has been a challenging period and thank her for her dedication and service to Optus.

Kelly has always led with integrity and had all stakeholders' best interests at heart. We understand her decision and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

We recognise the need for Optus to regain customer trust and confidence as the team works through the impact and consequences of the recent outage and continues to improve. Optus' priority is about setting on a path of renewal for the benefit of the community and customers.

Who is going to take over?

Optus has decided to appoint chief financial officer (CFO) Michael Venter to also assume the role of interim CEO to focus on the priorities that the Singtel CEO referred to. Singtel is going to carry out a global search for a new CEO. Time will tell if they're able to harm Telstra shares or not.

Venter has been the Optus CFO since 2021 and has had business experience of 25 years in Australia and Asia.

Singtel also said that former Optus managing director Peter Kaliaropoulos will join the board on 22 November in the newly created position of chief operating officer, reporting to the interim CEO.

Yuen Kuan Moon also said:

Optus is an integral part of our Group's business. We view the events in recent weeks very seriously. We fully recognise the importance of Optus' role in providing connectivity services to the community and the importance of network resiliency and security. That is a top priority in all markets where our companies operate in. I have every confidence our Optus team will exert all efforts to deliver for customers and regain their trust and confidence.

What's going on with Telstra shares?

Share prices move up and down all the time – it's back to where it was at the start of November.

If Telstra can win customers after Optus' troubles then the ASX telco share could benefit to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Despite the possible boost to earnings, Telstra shares are down by 3% since the start of the year.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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