Ex-Telstra COO McKenzie becomes CEO of Chorus

19 December 2016 | James Pearce


Former Telstra COO Kate McKenzie has been named as the new CEO of New Zealand wholesale provider Chorus.

McKenzie will take charge in February 2017, replacing Mark Ratcliffe who is stepping down from the role. In the new role, she will be tasked with overseeing Chorus’ rollout of Ultra-Fast Broadband.

McKenzie left Telstra in July having spent three years as COO, taking responsibility for the Australian operator's field services, IT and network architecture and operations. She had spent more than a decade at Telstra, and became part of its leadership team in 2007.

Telstra had faced seven network outages during McKenzie’s final year in charge. Recently, former Juniper chief Robyn Denholm was named as her permanent successor.

"I have admired Chorus' rollout of very high quality broadband infrastructure and I look forward to playing my part in working with the rest of the telecommunications sector to make it as easy as possible for our customers to enjoy the benefits of this nationwide upgrade and all of the social and economic benefits that will deliver," McKenzie said.

Ratcliffe informed the Chorus board of his plans to step-down in August, and will be involved in a handover process with McKenzie. He became CEO in 2011 following the demerger of the company from Telecom New Zealand in 2011.

Chorus chairman Patrick Strange said: “Having skilfully navigated through the establishment of Chorus and some tumultuous years, Mark can step down knowing the fibre rollout is going well, the company is in a strong position and it has been recognised as one of the best employers in Australasia for five consecutive years.”