Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is missing in action as the Singapore-owned telco faces its second massive crisis since she took the reins and the company was hit by the country’s biggest ever hack.
Ms Rosmarin was dodging calls from government ministers after the Optus network crashed on Wednesday, cutting off phone calls, texts and internet access for 10 million customers.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said she had been unable to get answers from Optus on the outage until the corporate giant finally released an update hours later.
And telecoms minister Michelle Rowland slammed the telco for not getting on the front foot by addressing the issue publicly.
‘Customers want to know what is going on and I would urge Optus to get that information out to any channels that are possible and to do that as a priority,’ she said.
Optus later issued a terse statement admitting an issue and apologising for the ‘inconvenience’.
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is missing in action as the Singapore-owned telco faces another massive crisis since she took the reins during the pandemic
Optus network crashed on Wednesday, cutting off phone calls, texts and internet access for 10 million customers
‘Optus is aware of an issue that may be impacting some of our mobile and internet customers,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We are currently working to identify the cause and apologise for any inconvenience. In case of an emergency, customers can still call 000.’
But five hours after the outage began there is still no update from the company’s CEO.
Ms Rosmarin’s last update on social media was six months ago when the former Football Australia board director posted a link to her interview with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
Mother-of two Ms Rosmarin, 46, landed the top job in April 2020 after a year as deputy CEO despite no telco experience during her 14 years with Commonwealth Bank.
She was parachuted onto the Football Australia board after serving as then-chairman Sir Frank Lowy’s personal banker, and soared through the ranks of the CBA.
The science graduate, who grew up in South Africa and now lives in wealthy Vaucluse in Sydney’s east with CBA executive husband Rodney, earned a reputation at the bank as a disruptor who could ‘ruffle feathers’.
Mother of two Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, 46, lives in wealthy Vaucluse in Sydney’s east with CBA executive husband Rodney
She took over Optus just as the Covid pandemic began but faced the biggest crisis the company had ever suffered when a massive hack a year ago stole and exposed personal details of up to 10 million customers.
The furious backlash saw analysts, customers and commentators demand her sacking at the time but she managed to survive the outrage.
At the time she was credited with coming forward and taking ownership of the problem personally with a series of video messages to customers.
‘The first 12 to 24 hours is critical in these crisis,’ said one PR specialist. ‘She came out on the front foot in that time, which was good.’
But she will now face similar calls to quit after this last outage left millions stranded for hours – without any sign of the CEO.
More to follow