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I was pushed: Switkowski -

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I was pushed: Switkowski

Reporter: Phillip Lasker

MAXINE McKEW: Telstra's outgoing chief executive, Ziggy Switkowski, says his departure is in the
best interests of Australia's dominant telco.

Dr Switkowski admits he was pushed, and as Phillip Lasker reports, he says major differences
between himself and the board made the relationship unworkable.

PHILLIP LASKER: Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski was stricken by salmonella poisoning this
week, but today, he decided not to lay low, delivering a frank assessment of his predicament.

ZIGGY SWITKOWSKI, OUTGOING TELSTRA CHIEF EXECUTIVE: I am personally associated with quite a
controversial era over the last five or six years and no doubt do carry baggage.

And from my perspective, companies and investors can effectively sort of push the reset button with
my departure and stop looking backwards and consider the future perhaps in a different way.

PHILLIP LASKER: The baggage of controversial expansion plans to acquire media companies like John
Fairfax and more than $2 billion in losses in Asia.

Meanwhile, Telstra lost market share at home as it battled regulators.

Against his own instincts, Dr Switkowski was forced to abandon his vision and focus on running a
domestic phone company.

He admitted he did not enjoy unanimous board support.

ZIGGY SWITKOWSKI: There is simply too much accumulated history between me and some of the directors
for the gaps to be closed.

PHILLIP LASKER: Dr Switkowski warned a fully privatised Telstra would not be free of politics.

ZIGGY SWITKOWSKI, Whoever is selected to run the company has to have the ability to sense the
political nuances.

PETER MORGAN, 452 CAPITAL: I think what they need going forward is an outside person to come in
there, look at the company a little bit differently, show some aggression towards competitors.

PHILLIP LASKER: Dr Switkowski says the company is travelling well and on track to meet forecasts.

The push to boost Telstra's share price ahead of full privatisation is on in earnest.

Businesses can sometimes be broken up in order to unlock extra value, but Dr Switkowski dismissed
speculation that that would happen to Telstra.

He said structural separation was not on the agenda.

Phillip Lasker, Lateline.