Simon Hackett combined entrepreneurial energy with technical expertise in his leadership of Internode. Commencing in 1991, Simon built Internode into a nationally recognised Internet company that is renowned for its customer-friendly service.
Simon has been personally involved with the development of the Internet since its early days in Australia. After graduating from computer studies at the University of Adelaide in 1986, Simon was involved in the establishment of AARNet - the Australian Academic and Research Network - a national Internet Protocol-based network that connected universities throughout the country. From 1989, AARNet provided the foundation for the commercial Internet that started to transform the world of communications half a decade later. Simon was also a co-founder of the Internet Society of Australia and founding president of the South Australian Internet Association.
In 1991, Simon founded Internode, a company that since its inception has established itself as a trailblazer in Australia's innovative Internet access sector. As one of the earliest entrants in the Broadband ADSL services market, Internode has recorded strong year-on-year growth since 2000, creating a first-tier, high-capacity international broadband network while preserving the quality service that earns it strong customer retention rates.
Seven years after founding Internode, Simon launched Agile Communications, a privately owned licensed carrier that has pioneered Internet Protocol-based communications in many regional areas of Australia. Since it became the first SA-based company to gain a national telecommunications license in 1998, Agile has used IP-based technology to design and deliver new communication infrastructure that achieves price-performance points not available through traditional carrier networks.
Simon's interest in technology is as broad as it is deep. While working in the US in the early 1990s, he was involved in a fun project to create an Internet-controlled toaster. "It lets you burn the toast from halfway around the world," he jokes.
Simon is also a passionate environmentalist, leading Internode to establish itself as an award-winning corporate citizen for its environmental sustainability. In early 2009, Simon imported the world's first fully-electric supercar, the Tesla Roadster, to Australia. The Roadster's style and speed highlight Internode's green initiatives.
Simon Hackett passionately believes in the viability and value of electric vehicles. "The point of the exercise is to demonstrate that it is possible to be both green and high performance: Like a Roadster - and, indeed, like Internode," he said.
"I've been passionate about electric vehicles since I drove a GM EV-I electric car in California during the 1980s. I strongly believe that electric vehicles are the future of motoring and this is the most concrete way that I can personally contribute to educating people in Australia about just how real they are. In the Tesla, people can see what the future of cars looks like."
In August 2008, Simon received the Australian communication industry's top honour for individual achievement, the 2008 Telecommunications Ambassador award. Presented at the prestigious Communications Alliance ACOMMS Awards in Sydney, the 2008 Telecommunications Ambassador award acknowledged Simon Hackett as an outstanding individual who has shown strong leadership and made a significant and visible contribution to the Australian communications industry.
The ACOMMS08 accolade followed Simon's receipt of the 2004 The Bulletin-Microsoft Smart 100 Information Technology & Communications Award, which recognised his role as "a thinker and a doer; a businessman who proudly wears his tech-savvies on his sleeve".
In August 2012, Simon left his executive role at Internode to join the iiNet board. “While I will continue to represent Internode as I always have, I am keen to contribute at a group level, influencing the strategy of the entire iiNet group."