Telstra could fill Buckman role by next week

Mark Buckman

Telstra could announce its new marketing director as early as next Wednesday after the sudden resignation of marketing and media boss Mark Buckman was revealed in AdNews last week.

The Telco is conducting an internal shootout between Inese Kingsmill and Andy Bateman to take on the marketing function after it decided to split Buckman's multi-faceted role in two - just months after bringing media and marketing together under one manager.

Both Kingsmill and Bateman were immediately considered the front runners for the marketing role.

Kingsmill, who joined the telco after 16 years at Microsoft in 2010, is director of corporate marketing and chair of the Australian Association of National Advertisers. Bateman is director of segment marketing and came over from The Leading Edge where he was worldwide CEO in October last year.

One observer aware of the deliberations told AdNews: “There's an announcement supposedly due on July 23”.

But a spokesman for the telco said that it would not be engaging in public discussion about the succession plan or the timetable involved.

“We can confirm that no date has been set around any announcements,” the spokesman said.

“We will not be commenting on the recruitment process and as discussed last week we are working with Mark on a smooth transition over the coming months and will update the market at the appropriate time.”

While it appears there will be a quick succession in the marketing sphere, the appointment of a new head of Telstra's media could take longer as the company prepares for the next tack in the digital media race where it is increasingly engaged in content provision and bundling of products across telephony, broadband and subscription TV via Foxtel.

Buckman assumed the expanded role when head of media Rick Ellis resigned in March as a result of the sale of Sensis.

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