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Updated: Primus CEO steps down

Updated: Primus CEO steps down

Ravi Bhatia has retired to pursue other interests but will continue as an advisor to Primus Australia

The chief executive of the Aussie arm of Primus Telecommunications, Ravi Bhatia, has stepped down from the position after some 16 years with the company, effective 13 July.

Bhatia, who joined Primus on 1 October 1995 when he founded the Australian branch of the company, told Computerworld Australia that after so long in the position he felt he’d “done his bit” for the industry.

“I’ve seen a lot throughout my time here, the early establishment of the company, Australia becoming an open market, deregulation, the introduction of Internet, the introduction of broadband and now the rollout of the NBN.

“It’s time to move on and do something else, there are lots of opportunities in the distribution sector, the resources sector and you know I’m fundamentally a business man with a technical mind and anything that fits well is something I want to try my hand at,” he said.

According to Bhatia, some of his biggest achievements throughout the years were breaking into the international calling market in 1996, the introduction of the internet in 1998 and then the introduction of broadband in 2003-4.

Taking over from Bhatia as acting CEO of the Australian operations is Richard Baumfield, with a permanent replacement head to be announced later in the year. Bhatia will continue to work with Primus Australia as an advisor.

The company’s global chief executive, Peter Aquino, said Bhatia was a well respected executive and a “pioneer” in the Australian telecommunications market.

“The board joins me in expressing appreciation to Ravi for his years of dedication and exceptional leadership, and looks forward to his continued contribution as we pursue our National Broadband Network opportunity in mainland Australia,” Aquino said in a statement. “We also thank Richard for agreeing to step in on an interim basis, and expect to name a permanent head of Primus Australia soon.”

Primus was announced as one of the 12 retail service providers (RSP) who have signed agreements with NBN Co to provide access on the first five mainland sites of the NBN.

The RSPs were to undergo “on-boarding processes” onto the network ahead of a September go-live date for which Armidale will be the first of the five test sites to begin testing the network.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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