The rumours were true. Telecom Internet services general manager Chris Tyler has resigned to take up a job in Sydney.
Tyler has been appointed chief executive officer of Solution 6, a practice management software developer which also owns Access One, Australia’s third-largest Internet service provider. Solution 6 is publicly listed and has more than 700 staff.
Tyler, who was recruited in 1995 from a background in telecommunications consultancy in the US to head up Telecom's Internet effort, has been strongly identified with Telecom Xtra, which became the country's largest ISP within weeks of its launch last May and effectively set new benchmarks for pricing and marketing of consumer Internet access.
But although Tyler's strategy for strong subscriber growth in the ISP's first year has been carried through, plans for Internet commerce - including online Eft-POS, which he said last June would be "three months away" - have made little impact. In the meantime, Xtra has fielded bad publicity over security, performance and alleged predatory pricing. Tyler is believed to have been asked by the Telecom board to explain both the bad publicity and Xtra's financial losses.
Tyler says in a press statement that he looks forward to the possibility of working with Xtra in developing mutually beneficial business opportunities in Australia.
Telecom expects to name a successor before Tyler departs in April.