“The integration between Internode and iiNet technical systems has gone much faster than expected,” said Mr Hackett. “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.”
Mr Hackett established Internode in 1991 and grew it to become a national Internet Service Provider with close to $200 million in revenue and more than 180,000 broadband customers. In December 2011, it was announced that he was selling Internode to iiNet for $105 million in a transaction that was completed on February 1, 2012. This was paid partly in cash and partly in iiNet shares, establishing Mr Hackett as one of iiNet’s largest shareholders.
iiNet CEO Michael Malone said: “Simon Hackett has an enormous amount of experience and credibility in the industry. We are very pleased that he is willing to step up and join the board.”
Other Internode staff are also stepping into key group roles within iiNet.
Internode’s Chief Technology Officer John Lindsay was recently appointed as iiNet Chief Technology Officer, now responsible for the network and operations for iiNet as well as Internode. “Internode has had a reputation for running a first class national and international network,” said Mr Malone. “It makes sense for the Internode and iiNet engineering teams to get together and for John to head it up.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that iiNet’s gaming network 3FL would merge into Internode’s games.on.net service, with Internode stalwart Heidi Angove to head the combined games network.
Also, Internode’s General Manager Business and Government Daryl Knight will now take on this role for the entire group, reporting to Greg Bader, CEO of iiNet Business.
Mr Hackett, Mr Lindsay, Ms Angove and Mr Knight will remain based in Adelaide.
Mr Hackett also notified staff that long-standing Internode CEO Patrick Tapper will leave the company in order to move to Queensland. “Pat has contributed enormously to make Internode successful,” he said. “In recent years, Pat has spent more time with his partner and family in Queensland. As the call to move north has grown stronger, he has made the decision to relocate there permanently.”
Mr Hackett said that Pat Tapper expected to complete his 14-year tenure at the end of July.
Mr Hackett said the technical integration of the iiNet and Internode networks had been extremely smooth. “I think it’s safe to say that the pace of integration of our networks and other systems has happened faster than anyone expected, which is a great thing,” he said.
“While it’s been mostly invisible to our customers, lots has happened to integrate our DSLAM backhaul, inter-capital and international networks, and to start carrying the combined Internode and iiNet traffic. Our customers have already started to benefit, with the delivery of seamless access to iiNet’s larger DSLAM coverage map being deployed for Internode customers at an impressive pace."
“This network integration is important because success in our industry really does require scale and efficiency, which means avoiding unnecessary duplication. We have much to do that can further benefit our customers, who love the great things about Internode, including our personality and innovative products, as well as our passion for customer service and service delivery excellence."
“Already the convergence of iiNet and Internode contains a healthy dose of Internode’s approach to business. Just take a look at the recent evolution of iiNet’s retail broadband plans! The excellent direct-managed Internode global IP network is already serving iiNet customers as well. In a very real sense, we can be proud that key parts of iiNet are benefitting from having ‘Internode Inside’.
“Our ultimate goal is to become a single, well-integrated organisation that operates multiple strong, respected and loved brands in the market. I’m looking forward to continuing to innovate and disrupt the Australian telecommunications market for the better.”