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Telstra's New CEO -

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(generated from captions) Corporate Australia's most anticipated appointment

was finally detailed on Thursday with the board of Telstra announcing Solomon Trujillo would head up the nation's second biggest company. It's the second time Telstra has turned to America to provide its CEO. In the few days since his appointment, the media, fund managers, analysts and shareholders have all been on the hunt to find out what style of executive Trujillo is. He's been described as a fair but no-nonsense boss

and a workaholic. He once described himself as a fixer, a builder and a self-confessed nerd. This report from Katrina Nicholas, who, last week, broke the story of Trujillo's appointment. I'd like to say that, first of all, I'm very delighted to be here. It was an upbeat and cheerful Sol Trujillo who met the Australian media for the first time yesterday. My belief is that here in Telstra over the next few years

we're going to able to do some things that no-one else around the world is going to be doing or, if they're doing it, they won't be doing it as well. But Trujillo isn't exactly a household name in the local finance community. Several suspect he may not have been the board's first choice. Some question his corporate track record. However, at least Trujillo has the support of his chairman,

unlike Ziggy Switkowski. What we were attracted to was the great leadership qualities of Sol and his great strength in strategy and execution. But for Telstra's 1.8 million shareholders, this is the man appointed to guide their company through what is arguably one of the most important and challenging chapters in its 104-year history. And yesterday he lived up to his hard-nosed reputation, especially when it came to management and strategy. I want everybody to be on board. As we say sometimes, catch the vision or catch the bus. But he deferred many questions, saying he needed more time to study the landscape, questions such as media ownership. There's a lot yet that I don't know the details of. Obviously, starting today and going forward, I'm going to study the issues very hard. I have learned to say that I will never say 'never'. Initially, at least some in the investment community appear lukewarm to Trujillo. The passage of the last six or nine months The passage of the last six or nine months

has been very difficult from an investor perspective. The issues in the industry haven't shifted with the appointment of one individual. The first focus I have is around customers and being a market-based business. After that general news conference, Trujillo sat down with Katrina Nicholas for his first television interview in Australia, answering how he would solve the multitude of problems facing Telstra.

The question is how we redefine the

game, how we serve our customers

better. I have some ideas that I

have picked up around the world and

given my experience. I think that

if we are very good and executing

on what our customers tell us what

they really want and they really want and need and are

willing to pay for, we can do very

well in terms of growing revenues

and in terms of market share and

all the classic measures that we

have in a business. Going to that

one customer satisfaction point -

Telstra is routinely referred to as

the most hated company in

Australia. People don't like

Telstra. They've always got a

complaint story about the company.

How are you going to try to How are you going to try to address

that problem? First of all, my

approach is to make sure that I

understand why customers say if

they are saying what you said why

they're saying it and break it

apart into solable pieces so we can

improve. I am sure that given the

fact that Telstra has so many

customers and generates such a

large amount of revenue, there's a

lot of satisfied customers as well. So what you try to

So what you try to do in running a

business is you try to understand

the dissatisfied customers and you

try ounderstand the satisfyed

customers and take their core needs

and drive what you do even better.

Now growing revenue is one part of

the issue, but I suppose the other

side of the equation is cutting

costs. Telstra is a company that

has a lot of fat yet to take out of

it in the lead-up to it in the lead-up to full

privatisation, many analysts say.

How will you go about cutting costs?

First of all, I would say that every business that I know around

the world in every industry would

say there's costs to be taken out.

You never are lean enough. What I

am also a believer in is you don't

go in and slice budgets and do that

sort of thing. You try to understand what are the things that

are most important in delivering services to the services to the commus mer, what

are the sthintion that are less

important. You try to eliminate

those things that aren'ted aing

value to the mus mer. Several of

your new executive team were of

course candidates for your job. How

will you secure their services if

you want them? Secondly, are you

the sort of CEO that likes to

surround yourself with your own

people? Well, I mean, the reality

of life is that you always have a combination of the two. But combination of the two. But my

objective is to take advantage of

the talent that exists here. I

think that is there is a a lot of

talent and I think that what we

need to do is develop strategies,

create at alignment. For those that

want to, you know, join in that

exciting mission that we're going

to be taking on, that's great. For

those that does not', it will be

best that they leave. From what I

understand, you have come from understand, you have come from

situations where you have been an

executive chairman and CEO, which

is a typical American model.

Obviously in Australia that is different. Obviously independent

chairman and COE. Telstra has had a

lot of board intervention. How do

think you will go? Part of my

coming here and part of my

discussion with Donald as chairman

and with the board is about high

the dynamics work. We are very

clear that the

clear that the CEO who comes has to

run the business. How quickly do

you think you will put your stamp

on Telstra? Well, hopefully, I'll

start within the first week or two.

I mean that very sincerely. In

terms of the philosophy that I want

to embed inside this business,

customers, customer, customers,

market based focus, which means not all customers are the not all customers are the same. You

have to understand the differences.

You have to align your strategy,

how you invest your resource

allocation. It all has to fit

together. Now, Solomon, your salary

is $10 million a year potentially.

That cat a pults you into the ranks

of one of the most highly paid

cefplt -- CEOs in Australia. Are

you worth that sort of you worth that sort of money? You have to look at the difficulty of

the job. You have to pay for the

degree of difficulty of the job.

You also have to pay based upon

bench mrks and alternatives if you

want to recruit certain levels of

experience in all that. Will I be

worth it? My intent is to say yes,

but apt the end of the day I get

measured by what we deliver, not

what I say today, but what we do what I say today, but what we do

tomorrow. Telstra's progressing

down the path towards T3, the sale

of the Government's 52% stake. What

are your priorities in getting the

share price up? What would you say

to all those T2 investors that are

still well under water on their

investment? I am a believer that

value is created by numbers of

customers. The revenue spend by a

customer, how much it costs to

serve a customer. They are the core

disciplines of building a business

brick by brick by brick. It is not

about magical formulas and hoax us

pokus. It's down and dirty,

fundamental, roll up your sleeves

and get it done kinds of things.

You have been described as a

workaholic. Sometimes you exist on

four hours sleep. What sort of a

person are you? Well, I wouldn't

describe myself as a workaholic. I

would say that my vocation tends to

be sometimes my vacation. I enjoy

doing what I do. If you invest the

time, and it's enjoyable, you

should do it. Not to the detriment

of your family and other things.

But at the same time, you know, I

think if you enjoy doing it, some

people want to read a book. I may

want to read a report. Solomon Trujillo with Katrina Nicholas.