A team of stylists staged an elaborate photoshoot at the exclusive mansion home of Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin while Australia’s second biggest telco battled network chaos.
As Optus went down – killing all calls, texts and internet access for 10million customers – Daily Mail Australia can reveal the CEO’s family home in Vaucluse, in Sydney’s east, was a hive of activity.
A fleet of vehicles brought in luxury items like throws, shrubbery and furniture for a photography session at Ms Bayer Rosmarin’s $15million mansion.
Even the CEO’s executive husband, Rodney, admitted that the photo session – staged for the architect who renovated their 1920s period home – was ‘unfortunate timing’.
Mother of two Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, 46, (pictured with tennis great Pat Rafter) lives in wealthy Vaucluse in Sydney’s east with CBA executive husband Rodney
Several young men and women could be seen staging the photoshoot, ferrying items in and out of the balcony overlooking Sydney Harbour at the $15million 1920s dream home
Wicker furniture, elaborate floral features and rugs could be seen being moved into position for the photoshoot along with various bits of camera equipment
The mother-of-two’s husband, Rodney Rosmarin, an executive with Commonwealth Bank, was also seen directing the stylists, along with one of their daughters and the family’s pet dog
Mr Rosmarin – an executive at the Commonwealth Bank – could be seen directing the stylists, along with one of their daughters and the family’s pet dog, a silver-grey Italian greyhound named Vespa.
Wicker furniture, elaborate floral features and rugs were moved into position along with various bits of camera equipment.
Mr Rosmarin told Daily Mail Australia: ‘They just hadn’t got round to photographing it yet and it was being done today.
‘It was just unfortunate timing.’
He admitted today’s network crash had been ‘hell’ for his wife, and added: ‘Unfortunately, that’s the problem with big organisations and modern technology.’
Ms Rosmarin was not seen during the photoshoot, which commenced several hours after Optus went down across the country.
Optus has been approached for comment. Services began to be restored shortly after midday.
Several young men and women could be seen staging the photoshoot – ferrying props onto and off the balcony, which overlooks Sydney Harbour.
The family only moved into the home 18 months ago after selling another, more modern-style, luxury home nearby for $7.75million.
They also sold their second home in Bowral in the Southern Highlands for $4million last year, after spending almost $400,000 on a swimming pool renovation.
Since moving into the new Vaucluse home – which is heavily fortified with extensive CCTV cameras – the family have also spent a further $376,00 on a new pool and spa for that property too.
The four-bedroom home sits on 1200sqm plot on a quiet hilltop street, with views to the Harbour Bridge and CBD, and across the water to the lower north shore.
It boasts a grand Great Gatsby-style interior with original feature fireplaces and a spectacular curved stairway for a dramatic entrance to the reception area.
There is also a library and a vault and formal lounge and dining rooms, as well as a living room, sitting room, lift and a butler’s pantry off the expansive kitchen.
Details of the photoshoot emerged after the CEO faced backlash for taking hours to respond to the crisis.
It took almost seven hours before Ms Rosmarin spoke out about the devastating outage, breaking her silence in a call over WhatsApp to the ABC.
Photoshoot workers spent over an hour on location organising furniture
The stylists grappled with large items of furniture, moving it on and out of the house onto the balcony and courtyard of the classic century old villa
Among the items were feature pieces of crockery and ornaments
It’s unclear if the photoshoot was for an impending house sale or a magazine-type feature
She apologised for the tech fail but admitted the network had not yet established the ‘root cause’ of the problem. Officials would only say it was caused by a ‘deep fault’.
‘Unfortunately, I don’t have more information to give at this stage. We have had issues since 4am.
‘The team has tried a number of parts of restoration and so far we have not had the results that we have hoped for,’ Ms Rosmarin said.
She insisted they were ‘pursuing every avenue to get everybody back online as soon as possible’.
But she said it is ‘highly unlikely’ this outage is the result of a hack.
‘Our systems are actually very stable, we provide great coverage to our customers, this is a very rare occurrence,’ she said.
Her intervention came after Optus issued a terse statement admitting an issue and apologising for the ‘inconvenience’.
‘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.’
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.
They also sold their second home, a sprawling 1915 Rose Manor in Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands for $4million in August last year after a $400,000 renovation
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’.
Her family moved into their $15million 1920s Vaucluse mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour in May 2021 after selling a smaller, more modern home nearby for $7.75million.
They also sold their second home, a sprawling 1915 Rose Manor in Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands for $4million in August last year after a $400,000 renovation.
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 latest outage left millions stranded for hours – without any sign of the CEO.
Questions have also been asked about her various roles on the side in addition to her demanding Optus job, with seats on the board of several other different companies.
Pictured are where Optus users have reported the network blackout
Her LinkedIn profile admits she is still currently a non-executive director of digital advertising company REA Group and also of Indian-owned telco Airtel Africa.
She was also still a non-executive director of Afterpay rival Openpay for almost two year after she became Optus CEO until finally quitting in January 2022.
At the time of last year’s data hack, some critics asked if the Optus CEO job had her full attention.
In the wake of the 2022 data leak, she dismissed calls for stiffer European-style penalties for companies who fail to protect their customer’s personal details.
‘Look, honestly I’m not sure what penalties benefit anybody,’ she said at the time.
‘I think what I can say is Optus is doing absolutely everything possible to be transparent, to be on the front foot.
‘We’re communicating to every customer individually about which specific fields of theirs may have been accessed and we’re working through that.’
The company is now facing a class action over the data breach.
Angry customers have led the backlash against the CEO online, with some demanding she steps down or be fired over this fresh debacle.
‘Under this current Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, which started 1 April 2020 (that date says a lot, April fools) there have been more issues than the last 20 years,’ posted one on X.
‘Rot starts at the top… time for a change and clean out of a number of others. They take and give nothing.’
Another added: ‘Can someone do a welfare check on Kelly Bayer Rosmarin…she’s everywhere when there is a woke box to tick but nowhere when there is an Optus outages, cyber events or price hikes.’