Lots of straws in the wind at Telstra at the moment. There’s the continuing hiatus in the appointment of a new
CEO to replace Ziggy Switkowski who leaves in five week’s time. David Murray says he’s going nowhere near Telstra and is
staying at the CBA.

That denial saw the CBA shed 65c of Monday’s 99c rise
on erroneous reports from Business Sunday that Murray
had the job and that the Prime Minister had visited Murray recently to tell him so.
Murray has said
he’s staying and he hadn’t met the PM. Oh Dear! So the $1.2 billion added to
the CBA’s market value on the reports of Murray going on Monday, had been cut to
around $400 million or so by the close yesterday. CBA shareholders seem not to happy at Murray staying.

On the other hand, Telstra shareholders seem overjoyed that
he’s not coming with the shares up 4c yesterday – around $400 million or so in added

Meanwhile in Canberra
further confirmation of the strangeness of the re-employment of John Short, a
former journalist, Liberal Party worker and ministerial adviser.

Here’s a SMH story on disclosures at a Senate Estimates
Committee hearing yesterday:

chairman Donald McGauchie ordered the Telco’s top executives to rehire a former
Liberal Party staffer and bump up his salary to $400,000, a Senate committee
heard today.

Short returned to Telstra in April as a consultant adviser, just eight months
after his $200,000-$300,000-a-year job as national general manager of
government affairs was axed.

Short had received a redundancy payout of between $100,000 and $150,000 but did
not have to repay the money despite Telstra’s rules about former employees
having to hand back such payments if they returned to the Telco within two

head of regulatory affairs Bill Scales told the committee Mr Short was rehired
after Mr McGauchie recommended him to chief executive Ziggy Switkowski.

nice to have friends like Donald McGauchie.