OPTUS CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin was left with no further cards to play this week and handed in her resignation. From time to time there seems to be an event such as the Optus Outage where the media storm is significantly greater than other such events.
While in charge the business had two major challenges, the 2022 data breach and the recent outage that occurred last week. In no way would I downplay the impact of losing telecommunications both to private residents and businesses, however, it was not the first (Telstra Outage 2018) and I guarantee it won't be the last.
Who could have predicted that moving to a cashless society would put businesses at such risks !
Why the media storm ?
Firstly, Optus which is owned by SINGTEL is a $37 billion dollar company so in no way would I suggest the PR team handled the situation with any glory. However, it feels like the CEO was pushed out the door as the sacrifice that was required to move on from the situation.
My initial take was that the CEO was more interested in spending the critical and limited time she had available to fixing the issue. However, the media was fixated on her providing press conferences and showing sympathy to save face.
The final nail in the coffin appeared to be smiling too much and an off-the-cuff remark about how people would survive without a haircut until the outage had been rectified.
The rumored front runners to replace the outgoing CEO have had their own controversies, however, like water off a duck's back politicians seem to recover more quickly than most in the public's eye.
So rightly or wrongly the perception through the lens of the media is more important than the work being done behind the scenes.