Friday — with the marathon investor presentation by Sol Trujillo’s team — might just have been the day when the controversial American import turned sentiment around.
The coverage in the weekend press was overwhelmingly positive about the ambitious transformation process and the world-leading wireless broadband network.
“Trujillo clearly demonstrated that his transformation is proceeding ahead of initial targets,” John Durie, The AFR
“Bringing big-ticket projects on early and on budget are key markers of successful management,” Matthew Stevens, The Australian.
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“It brought an end to all the nonsense of the past few weeks and provided extraordinary clarity and an extraordinary – positive – send off for T3,” Terry McCrann, The Australian.
“At this stage in Telstra’s transformation program and with T3 imminent, the upbeat tone and and absence of unpleasant surprises constitutes a tick on the program’s progress report,” Stephen Bartholomeusz, The Age.
In ordinary circumstances, a sprinkler exploding at 11.10am and showering an assortment of people with putrid water would spoil anyone’s day.
Telstra’s lawyers are said to be talking tough with the lighting company but Sol personally made the decision to relocate to the Hilton and within 100 minutes the set, audio-visual equipment worth $100,000-plus, 500 people, reformatted slides and everything else was moved and up and running.
Whilst the water accident featured prominently in the coverage, you couldn’t escape the fact that Telstra shares rocketed 10c on Friday.
Sol was then noticeably buoyant when hosting a dinner on Friday night with 440 business customers including the global CEOs of Cisco, Accenture, Alcatel, Ericsson and advertiser WPP.
The presenters together had a market cap of over $300 billion dollars, employed over 250,000 people and measured revenue over $100 billion.
Sol finished the night by saying we might have gotten wet, but he was “singing in the rain” after the 10c share increase over the day.
And to think, John Howard still believes he can impose a political mate with a reputation for wrecking on the Telstra board to get in the way of this revolution.
Nick Minchin was sensibly talking up Sol’s credentials and talking down the government’s ongoing role when he fronted the press this afternoon. Taxpayers would be much better if his boss did likewise.