Sol Trujillo’s Telstra seems to have no
problem with executives talking down the share price – or at least warning
their moms not to buy – but woe betide anyone suspected of leaking to the
press. That’s the message from Michael Sainsbury’s
story in the Oz about the abrupt departure of Andrew Johnson:

Mr Johnson, formerly second in charge of Telstra’s technology division, is
understood to have expressed concern last year over the procurement processes
of Mr Trujillo’s team.

In a note to staff on Tuesday afternoon, an excerpt of which has been
obtained by The Australian, Mr Trujillo said: “Earlier today I advised the
senior leadership team of the departure of a senior executive. I regretted
having to communicate this news, but I feel the circumstances raised serious
issues that they – and you – deserve to hear directly from me.”

Telstra declined to confirm if the email referred to Mr Johnson, who was
unavailable for comment. But The Australian understands he has been accused of
leaking material to the Australian Financial Review, which published articles
slamming Telstra’s decision to engage French vendor Alcatel on a $3.4 billion
network contract.

Telstra insiders said Mr Johnson’s exit came at the end of a thorough
two-month internal investigation.

Storing and monitoring emails is standard –
and legal – practice at all manner of organisations. Which is why it’s probably
a good idea to have a Yahoo or Hotmail account for any sensitive material you
think we should have at Crikey.

And speaking of anonymous sources, we hear
those with the job of flogging off T3 have found no interest among American
investors. The government’s regulatory regime is being blamed for that.

Or do they just already know Sol?

Disclosure: the Pascoe family
super fund holds Telstra shares, unfortunately.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey