13 August 2015 – The Telstra Board today announced it would nominate US-based technology executive, investor and advisor Traci â€˜Trae’ Vassallo, 43, for election as a non-executive Director at Telstra’s Annual General Meeting in October.
Telstra Directors Geoffrey Cousins AM and John Zeglis have also announced their intention to retire at Telstra’s annual general meeting on 13 October after each completed three three-year terms. Both Directors joined in 2006, with Mr Zeglis chairing the Board’s Technology Committee from 2009 to 2012, and Mr Cousins serving on the Remuneration and Nomination Committees since 2007.
Telstra Chairman Catherine Livingstone AO said Mr Cousins and Mr Zeglis had played a significant role in helping to oversee the evolution of Telstra through a period of substantial change in the telecommunications industry. Ms Livingstone said the Board would miss their contribution and wished them well for the future.
Ms Vassallo is a strategic advisor and former general partner at Californian venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and holds 13 patents across various technologies and disciplines.
Ms Livingstone said Ms Vassallo was a strong candidate who, given her experience in a range of sectors and technologies of strategic interest, would make an immediate contribution to the Telstra Board if her nomination was supported by shareholders.
“We are pleased that Trae is able to commit her time and energy to Telstra, given her wide range of expertise and global perspective on many of the opportunities and challenges we are contemplating as an organisation,” Ms Livingstone said.
During her time at KPCB, Ms Vassallo played a leading role in KPCB’s investments in successful companies including Nest Labs (acquired by Google), Dropcam (acquired by Google) and Opower. She is a Director of Enlighted Inc., which provides smart energy efficiency solutions, and serves on the advisory board of TrialReach, a technology company supporting awareness and participation in medical research.
Ms Vassallo was a co-founder of Good Technology which provides end-to-end wireless email services to enterprise customers. Ms Vassallo began her career at IDEO, where she developed groundbreaking products for companies including Palm and Dell. She holds Master and Bachelor of Science degrees, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.
Ms Vassallo will stand for election by shareholders at Telstra’s annual general meeting on 13 October and if elected, will join the Board from the end of the AGM. Mr Cousins and Mr Zeglis will remain Directors until that time. Russell Higgins AO, Steve Vamos and Margaret Seale will stand for re-election, each with the support of the remainder of the Board.
Following the AGM, subject to Ms Vassallo’s appointment and re-election of Mr Higgins, Mr Vamos and Ms Seale, the Telstra Board will comprise ten Directors: Chairman Catherine Livingstone AO, CEO Andrew Penn and directors Peter Hearl, Russell Higgins AO, Chin Hu Lim, John Mullen, Nora Scheinkestel, Margaret Seale, Steven Vamos and Trae Vassallo.