Interview with David Thodey

CEO Telstra

The internet has been around a long time, but as you’ve got developing countries getting access, they’re able to really leapfrog into this digital age, giving incredible growth. When you think about how business models are changing and how processes are changing because you’re digitally enabling them, that is an enormous change.

The whole thing about mobility is that it’s personal. It goes with you and, therefore, you’re always connected anytime, anyplace and that has been an enormous change and will continue to be a significant influence on the way businesses operate and people behave and interact.

Trust is at the centre of running a large corporation, especially if you’re in the service industry. You lose your trust with your customers in many ways. You lose your right to serve them and there are many different aspects to that. It is easy to lose and very hard to win trust with customers.

As a telco we are in a very privileged position because we hold a lot of information about what’s happening every day on an individual or on a business. So, even more so as a telco we need to be trustworthy and that means making good judgments about how we manage information, what information we use.

As part of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with David Thodey, CEO of Telstra. In this short video, David shares his thoughts on the outlook for the global economy, growth within the telecommunications industry, and Telstra's focus on the customer.

David Thodey is Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s largest telecommunications and media company, Telstra.

Born in Perth David studied at Victoria University in New Zealand – attaining a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English. He also attended the Kellogg Post-Graduate School General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago.

A passionate technologist and advocate for corporate responsibility, David started out as a systems engineer at IBM before rising to become CEO of IBM Australia / New Zealand.

David then joined Telstra – serving as Group Managing Director of Telstra Mobiles and Telstra Enterprise and overseeing the mass take up of mobiles, the introduction of digital technologies, and the proliferation of IP and mobile broadband services.

Since becoming Telstra’s CEO in 2009, David has focussed on renewing customer service and satisfaction, leading the drive to introduce innovative technology and on enhancing Telstra’s reputation with all stakeholders.

David lives in Sydney.


These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.