Bill Morrow Is Stepping Down As NBN CEO

Bill Morrow Is Stepping Down As NBN CEO

After four years and nine months of leading the NBN, CEO Bill Morrow will be stepping down at the end of 2018, Morrow told the NBN Board and the Federal Government today.

NBN said in an official statement that by the end of this year “80 per cent of the population will be able to connect to the national broadband network”.

“The rollout is proceeding at pace, and the project will be finished in 2020, on time, on budget, and the national broadband network will be fit-for-purpose,” the statement reads.

Morrow gave his reasoning for stepping down in the same statement.

“I believe that as the company prepares to confront the new challenges ahead, this is the right time to hand over the reins for the next phase of this incredible project and for me to plan for the next step in my career.”

NBN Board Chairman Dr Ziggy Switkowski said the country has “been fortunate to have Bill lead this extraordinary project.”

“While we will be sorry to see him leave, Bill has built a resilient, performance-driven organisation which will build on his legacy.”

As for who will be taking over from Morrow – NBN says a “global search” will be undertaken for his successor.

Update 10:04am: Morrow sent a letter to NBN staff this morning – here it is in full:

Happy Wednesday

It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you that I have decided to leave nbn to pursue the next chapter of my career. I have informed our Chairman that I will leave at the end of this calendar year. The next nine months will allow our Board of Directors to conduct an extensive search for my replacement while we remain focused on lifting the customer experience and reaching our three-quarter network completion milestone.

Two days ago was my four year anniversary here at nbn and over this entire time, I have repeatedly been inspired by and in awe of you. As many of you know, I’ve had the pleasure of leading many companies all over the world but it is here, in Australia, at nbn, where I’ve witnessed a team of like-minded individuals pull together and overcome obstacles in the face of adversity like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

As I sat down to write this note, part of my intent was to remind you of what you’ve done over the past four years so you know how proud and grateful I am of you and our partners. I listed out the many achievements that included 14 consecutive quarters of exceeding targets, advancing the network access from 500,000 to 6.5 million homes, and growing annualised revenue from $60 million to $2 billion. These are fabulous measures of your success, but what raises the goose bumps is knowing who you are, how you work together, and what you stand for.

There are many reasons why I feel this way but a few proof points include our engagement score lifting from the low 40s to the 70s putting us in the top quartile of companies down under; our voluntary turnover rate of employees improving and remaining the best in our industry; and the confirmation from third party surveys which show how our culture is underpinned by a set of deeply embedded and shared values. These values, as you know, are: We are One Team, We are Fearless, We Deliver, and most of all… We Care.

This last value is everything. When we care, we deliver the experience our customers need, we build our network to every home as soon as possible, and we are frugal with other people’s money. When we care, we drive for and leverage the power of diversity, we show respect for one another and we are committed to one another’s success. When we care, we make a difference in the lives of our fellow Australians and this couldn’t be more important to a country where the name of the national anthem is “Advance Australia Fair”.

This brings me to the most important reason why I’m so impressed with what you stand for and what you are doing. I know the reason you work so hard isn’t so much about building a network, it’s about closing the digital divide and narrowing the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. It’s about all Australians having greater access to education, health care, career opportunities, entertainment and feeling more connected than ever before. In two weeks we will be sharing the results of a recent study by well-respected economists who have researched the societal and economic impacts brought about because of nbn.

The study shows a material difference in how people live, work and connect. For example, people using nbn are 1.4 times more likely to socialise using the internet than non-nbn users, they are 1.3 times more likely to use internet-connected devices to improve health and wellbeing and 2 times more likely to enrol in an online education course. We can see the evidence of job creation, improved equality and greater levels of self-employment, particularly for women. You will hear more about this shortly but know that while many of us have always believed this to be the case, we now have evidence proving how the people behind nbn are making a difference.

At times my role at nbn has been challenging, relentless, and yes, sometimes frustrating but never has there been a time that I wasn’t proud to be a part of the nbn team. Your Board and Executive Committee is a world class team of people who will champion the cause for as long as nbn exists. We operate in a way that is greater than any one individual and because of this, I have no doubt about your ongoing success for years to come.

So…, given we still have nine more months together, I kindly ask for your ongoing support in three areas: 1) improving the customer experience for those touch points we control; 2) advancing the build of a high quality network; and 3) finding ways to keep our costs down so we can keep our services affordable for everyone.

When the time is right, I would like to see you for a proper farewell but for now it is business as usual as we press on toward our goal of eight million happy homes by the year 2020.


    • Given the next flack they helicopter will be even more eager to toe the party orthodoxy in opposition to technically competent solutions – I’d save my “woo hoo”s.

    • 8 million happy homes, and 4 million unhappy homes. That’s about the total. I wonder how he measures ‘happy’ though.

      • I imagine ‘happy’ are all the households that didn’t respond to NBN surveys, because they were never sent, so anyone that doesn’t complain is automatically satisfied.

  • “The rollout is proceeding at pace, and the project will be finished in 2020, on time, on budget, and the national broadband network will be fit-for-purpose,”


  • Getting out before the shit hit the fan hey. Truly atrocious and deplorable. Our country will pay for this for a long time. When will this country learn, never vote Liberal.

    • Unfortunately never , this morning i had a customer who is going to the Commonwealth games and was worried the terrorists might bomb the place . Liberals are great at spreading fear also.

    • I was taught decades ago that what Labor builds, the Liberals sell. Labor ideology is to build public infrastructure, while Liberal ideology these days is to avoid it. That’s the core problem behind the NBN – the Liberals don’t want the responsibility that comes with owning it.

      • Selling public infrastructure is a good way to strengthen the current government while weakening future governments. Hence it’s popularity with carpetbagger governments like the LNP.

        • Selling public assets doesn’t need to be a bad thing, if done for the right reasons. I think selling off Medibank was appropriate for example – it had long served its purpose. I think that was a good example of how it can be done right.

          But selling to balance the budget isn’t a good reason, and that’s been the justification by Liberals for a long time at all levels.

          Just look at the Telstra selloff. Selling off the retail arm wasn’t a bad idea, but adding in the wholesale part to boost the value was. Or the various electricity companies – how has making them private helped the consumer with a necessary utility?

    • Both parties are completely culpable with this decision.

      The current government is one of the worst we’ve ever seen. As was the previous labor government.

      If you think something different then you REALLY haven’t been paying attention. The only intelligent voter is a swinging voter.

      • Nope wrong…the libs are definitinitely worse. You must not have been paying attention. It is a lie that they are both the same and it only serves the liberals. They love that shit. the whole goal of the liberal party and neoconservatisim is to make government as small as possible to let the market take care of everything. we have seen how that has failed to work though succesive liberal governments. 50 billion tax cut for big busines,trickledown economics. dont make me laugh. swinging voters are idiots if they keep falling for the libs lies.

        • Wow. you don’t sound bolted on at all!

          Don’t forget it was the sheer, staggering incompetence of the labor party that put the current government into power. And they ran Mark Latham for Prime Minister. I’m sure you voted for them then too didn’t you? Or were you too young at the time?

          Anyway, enjoy voting for the same party for the rest of your life. It means you’re just a statistic, one of the old faithful who always votes for them, so they don’t even consider you when making decisions.

          • Nope wrong again. Nice try. I always question who is in power and their decisions. Whatever you do, dont vote the libs. they are disgraceful

          • Sorry man but you don’t really write as if you have the intellectual capacity to question anything effectively.

            Please Stop telling me how to vote. I don’t value your opinion.

  • I imagine this job will be a poison chalice that is hard to pass on, since whomever the LNP put in there will likely face a hostile government in a year after the next election.

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