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Second High-Ranking Optus Executive Steps Down Amid Network Issues


Lambo Kanagaratnam, a high-ranking executive, has decided to resign after facing a series of network outages and security breaches.

Another top executive at Optus, Lambo Kanagaratnam, has stepped down due to widespread network outages and security breaches.

Michael Venter, the CFO of Optus, confirmed that the managing director of networks at the telecommunications giant has chosen to leave after nine years of service.

This resignation comes in the aftermath of a major outage that affected internet and phone services, disrupting millions of Australians, 400,000 businesses, and emergency services from making calls or processing payments.

Kanagaratnam is the second executive to resign following the departure of former Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who left almost two weeks after the nationwide outage.

Mr. Venter highlighted Kanagaratnam’s international experience and leadership during his time at Optus, noting that under his guidance, the Optus Network became Australia’s fastest 5G network with over 4,000 5G sites operational across the country.

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Kanagaratnam led Optus through various natural disasters like cyclones, floods, and fires, as well as the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the recent outage.

In February, destructive storms in Victoria caused blackouts and extensive damage, impacting 88 Optus towers.

Despite these obstacles, Optus had already been under scrutiny for a cyber attack in 2022 that exposed the personal ID numbers of over 2 million customers.

Kanagaratnam testified at a Senate inquiry after the attack, expressing confidence that a cyber attack was not the cause of the outage.

He noted the constant threat of cyber attacks faced by telcos and the need to address these issues continuously.

Meanwhile, Optus’s Chief Technology Officer, Jorge Fernandes, will temporarily assume Kanagaratnam’s duties until a replacement is named.

Jorge, who joined Optus on June 1, 2023, will be in Australia with the team from mid-March to ensure a seamless transition.

With a 25-year career, including 15 years at Vodafone, where he held key roles such as chief technology officer at Vodafone UK.

Optus Fined $1.5 Million Amid Kanagaratnam’s Resignation

Kanagaratnam’s resignation coincides with Optus being fined $1.5 million by the communications watchdog for violating public safety regulations.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) discovered that Optus failed to upload the information of 200,000 mobile customers to the Integrated Public Number Database between January 2021 and September 2023.

This database is crucial for assisting emergency services during triple zero calls and issuing alerts during disasters like bushfires.

ACMA member Samantha Yorke expressed concern over Optus keeping so many customers without this vital information for an extended period.

“Optus cannot delegate its responsibilities, even if parts of the process are handled by a third party,” she stated.
“All telcos must have systems in place to ensure they meet their obligations, including robust oversight and assurance processes for third-party suppliers.”



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