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Singtel’s ‘culture’ blamed for Optus woes, founder of Boost Mobile calls for sale

Peter Adderton, founder of Boost Mobile, blames Optus’ recent troubles on cultural clashes with Singaporean owners, Singtel.

He calls for a change in ownership, highlighting the cultural gap and advocating for a consumer-focused CEO. Singtel’s handling and the Optus board’s perceived lack of responsibility during crises are questioned.

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AUSTRALIA – In a scathing critique, Peter Adderton, the visionary behind the multibillion-dollar Boost Mobile network in Australia and the USA, has pointed fingers at the Singaporean owners of Optus, Singtel, attributing the carrier’s recent woes to a clash of corporate cultures.

Adderton, known for his telecom industry acumen and esteemed by the US Federal Government, claims that the cultural differences between the Singaporean and Australian managements are at the heart of Optus’ ongoing troubles.

On 8 November, Optus faced a crippling nationwide outage, disrupting the connectivity of millions of customers and businesses in Australia.

This incident occurred just one year after a significant cyber attack in 2022 that compromised the personal data of over two million customers, including passport details.

A spokesperson verified on 13 November that the outage was a result of changes to routing information following a routine software upgrade.

However, facing public criticism in Australia, Optus’s CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, chose to resign, with some members of the Singaporean audience perceiving this move as her “taking responsibility” for the series of lapses.

“Culture differences is at the heart of the problem”

In an exclusive interview with an Australian media outlet ChannelNews, Adderton criticised Singtel for allegedly abandoning Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin during a Senate inquiry, describing it as throwing her “to the wolves.”

Singtel made an announcement on 20 November, regarding the changes within its Australian subsidiary Optus.

In the meantime, Optus’ chief financial officer, Michael Venter, will assume the responsibilities of the CEO role as the company initiates a global search for a suitable replacement, as confirmed by Singtel.

In the interview, Adderton alleged that Singtel’s handling of recent crises, including a data breach and a 12-hour network outage, underscores the stark differences in management approaches.

He argued that Singtel’s corporate culture, vastly different from the Australian operational ethos, has contributed to the mishandling of critical situations.

“The corporate cultural differences between Singapore management and Australian management cannot be underestimated,” he said in a Facebook post, on 21 November.

“What we saw in the handling of both the data breach and the recent outage is the result of the culture difference between both Companies.”

“I think it is time for Singtel to accept that their corporate culture and the culture of how Australians operate is very different, and that culture difference is at the heart of the problem.”

He suggested that it’s time for Singtel to acknowledge the cultural gap and consider divesting Optus.

Founder of Boost Mobile calls for change

Additionally, Adderton claims that the Optus board, present in Australia during both the 2022 hack attack and the recent 12-hour network crash, are gutless when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions and the decisions made by the company’s management, which they own and oversee.

“Singtel management are Singaporeans who hide whenever there is any hint of trouble,” he said.

Reportedly, during the Optus network crash, not a single board member came forward to defend the company or show support for the CEO, as stated by ChannelNews.

This is despite the entire board being in Australia at the time of the incident.

Instead, Singtel proceeded with a financial briefing 24 hours after the network outage without acknowledging the challenges Australians were encountering due to the Optus network crash.

Adderton called for a change in ownership, advocating for Optus to be sold back to Australians, emphasizing that a foreign-controlled entity is not in the best interest of the Australian telecommunications landscape.

The outspoken telecom entrepreneur asserted that the new CEO of Optus should be “consumer-facing.”

“They are not there to run a network or run an operation. They are there to engage with customers, Singaporeans with their culture are not right for Australia, and the problems at Optus will not be fixed until they are out of the picture,” he said.

He argued that the disconnect between the Singaporean culture and Australian expectations needs to be addressed for Optus to thrive.

Moreover, with nearly 40% of Australian communication needs serviced by Optus, Adderton estimated the potential value of the business at over AUS$18 billion if sold.

“…and with a management team that is consumer-focused, the business could grow,” according to Adderton, who has a reputation for growing telecommunication businesses.

When asked about crisis communication strategies, Adderton advocated for transparent and real-time communication across various platforms.

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i agree. Singtel should have fired more useless expensive CEOs and execs, instead of just pointing finger at one aussie who quit by herself.

in fact Singtel should have fired more useless overpaid management each time there was an outage in singapore.

The INDICTMENT of PAP/Singtel/SG Corp Culture laid barest of bare – the shallow, hollow and vacuum of SG business practices group all together now on mass clear display, to emit, elicit silence among shareholders and Board.

Whats there still to waste time and saliva to speak and air about.

Com’ on, Singapore management? Those Singaporeans managing optus are from Temasick, indirectly from pap. Don’t lump capable Singaporeans with them, we don’t hide from problems like them too. You need to fact check.

These are their mgt
https://www.optus.com.au/about/corporate/executive-profiles
Singtel employed mostly new-immigrants
few local Singaporeans
Bought at $16B, his valuation gave what returns after how many decades?
Certainly could have grwn much more.

At *hub, msin/SPR from A/c exec become IT director in a few months after course. Luckily left.
What do you expect?

@John, allow me to highlight the CULTURE of the PAP with some examples incase our 7 out of 10 working adults who are graduates failed to understand or in disbelieve: 1. Deflection – Blame the wars, blame the climate, blame citizen, to cover up its own in-ability. Do not wear mask at the beginning of COVID, because SG had not enough masks. 2. Deception – GRC is to ensure minority race representation in parliament. But an Indian was elected into parliament all by himself. Now only useless Chinese MPs entered Parliament by GRCs. Using the 1G’s successes as their own… Read more »

Singtel Culture Unmistakably REPLICATE PAP Administration detestable culture WHICH FOCUSES on:

1. Deflection
2. Deception.
3. Distortion.
4. Dishonesty.
5. Diversion.
6. Defraud.

They create blames on climate, machine, op systems, software hugs, teething problems.

No where one can find PAP ownself blame ownself.

This is MASTER PAP DEFRAUD.

“Singtel management are Singaporeans who hide whenever there is any hint of trouble,” he said.

Wow. How true this is! Only this drags all Singaporeans in!

Well, 60%, what do you say? Now you know our 3G leading SG into? Unlike during 1G era, Singaporeans were admired overseas!

So think what the 4G can do, with the same culture? Don’t forget this culture is in the DNA since Loong is in-charge!

Peter , You can buy back Optus , just let our talented government officers moonlight overseas in the new set up. Please official passed legislation so it is a win win.

C’mon our million$ PM/ministers, issue a pofma order against this guy. Or only know how to bully Singaporeans into submission?

Maybe Adderton wants to buy over Optus. One question I always ask is: Why is this person saying whatever it is they are saying. Is there any angle where it benefits them?

What to say?
A hubby leeding a country while the wife leeding the SWF is definitely THE MOTHER OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST in western countries.

Last edited 6 months ago by wee

Western religion AND sg Leligion so much different .

Cultural differences between rest of world and SG under pappies:

1) When things go wrong,
a) Australian: CEO resigns.
b) SG: No Blaming Culture or due to Free Riders.

2) When convicted of corruption/kelong dealing:
a) Brazilian/US: Keppel fined 422m.
b) SG: Can’t find sufficient evidence to persecute.

This is the type of brains we need. He is precise and absolutely right. He is able to identify the cause. If he was CEO he would have faced the customers directly. Compare him with Tharman, LHL, LW, CCS, OYK, GKY, JT, etc. There is no comparison as the PAP is run on cronyism. Adderton is talking about meritocracy. I would differ with Adderton on the Singapore Culture and replace it with the PAP culture. What would a person like Adderton say to the passing of a legislation to benefit one person by 75 PAP MPs? Corruption ? We are… Read more »

Expect the SG High Comm or Ambassador to response – usual par for the course bcz it is exactly why they are paid.

A bit too late for this discovery and conclusion the disease in Singtel. But better late than never.

Broadly, the world play along how the PAP punched above its weight. These are the wise one who understand and knew bjth games, PAP’s and theirs.

Centrally this PAP Administration survival, prosper, is dependent on its manipulation of lies how to make the strongest deception.

The investigations, the indictment outcome by the world’s most stringent, strongest judiciary, working from the best democracy existing in the world, speaks volumes about PAP related corruption and it’s conduct of affairs.

Spot bloody on, Mr Adderton.

And not only restricted to SingTel, but the basis too, … of SillyPore’s governance dna.

That is, … unaccountability, opacity and far from honesty/integrity, whenever the shit hits the fan !!!

Just as Australian commutable diseases specialist, Mike Toole stating loud and clear during Covid, that, … “SillyPore is one of the greatest failures in the world now” !!!

And no, POFMA ain’t gonna work outside the red dot, and, … not especially when the statement/s are by experts in their respective field !!!

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