Vocus CEO Kevin Russell Retiring, COO Ellie Sweeney to Take Over

Vocus CEO Kevin Russell is to retire, and Ellie Sweeney is to take the helm at the Australian connectivity provider.By Dan Swinhoe, DatacenterDynamics
February 10, 2023

Vocus CEO Kevin Russell is to retire and Ellie Sweeney is to take the helm at the Australian connectivity provider.

Sweeney has been chief operating officer of Vocus since 2019. She previously had roles at Telstra and World Directories. She will formally commence in the role on March 1, 2023.

“I am delighted to be taking on the role of CEO at a time when Vocus is commencing deployment of the most significant telecommunications infrastructure projects in Australia,” said Sweeney. “I am excited to be leading the team through the next phase of our growth ambition. At Vocus, we are a challenger that lives by its purpose of ‘building critical connections, enabling better possibilities.’ In my four years as COO, I’ve experienced how critical those connections are – both the fiber connections we construct, and the connections forged by our incredibly talented people with our customers.”

Sweeney will oversee the deployment of numerous major projects including the Perth to Port Hedland Horizon fiber project; a new 1,000km submarine cable connecting Vocus’ Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) to the North West Cable System (NWCS) known as Project Highclere; extensions to the North West Cable System extensions; and the East Coast Cable System, a proposed submarine cable system to connect Australia’s east coast capitals and complementing Vocus’ two terrestrial routes.

“Ellie has proven her credentials as an outstanding business leader throughout Vocus’ turnaround phase and into the current stage of investment and growth,” said Vocus chair Penny Bingham-Hall. “To have an internal successor as CEO speaks volumes about Vocus’ shared sense of purpose and unity of culture. She will be the ideal leader to see Vocus continue its market-leading growth trajectory as Australia’s fourth-largest telco.”

Outgoing CEO Russell has led Vocus since 2018. He joined from Telstra, and previously held CEO roles at Collinear Networks, Optus, Three, and Hutchison Telecoms.

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