New CFO tailor made for job

ANDREW PENN, the former chief executive of AXA Asia Pacific, which was taken over by AMP, has re-emerged as the chief financial officer at Telstra.

ANDREW PENN, the former chief executive of AXA Asia Pacific, which was taken over by AMP, has re-emerged as the chief financial officer at Telstra.

Telstra announced yesterday that Mr Penn would start as CFO in March, replacing company veteran John Stanhope.

Mr Penn was previously chief financial officer at AXA and headed up the company's operations in Asia in a 20-year career.

Mr Stanhope's replacement had been expected to come from inside Telstra, with deputy financial officer Mark Hall tipped to take the job.

Instead, chief executive David Thodey and the board have selected another outsider as a senior manager as Telstra transforms from an engineering-led to sales and marketing-led company.

"I am delighted to welcome Andy to this critical position," Mr Thodey said in a statement yesterday.

"Andy has extensive experience in Australia and overseas, a proven track record of success as a chief financial officer and a demonstrated ability to create shareholder value in complex businesses."

Analysts said Mr Penn was a likeable character who helped improve sales and efficiency at AXA and grow its business in Hong Kong.

"He was really the driver of the business rather than a cost-out guy. He was more about strategy and ultimately helped get a pretty good deal for AXA shareholders," BBY analyst Brett Le Mesurier told BusinessDay.

Mr Penn will join Mr Thodey in the executive leadership group but will not sit on the board.

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