Ziggy Switkowski

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Australia - Vic

Dr Zygmunt (Ziggy) Edward Switkowski (born 1948, Germany is a former CEO of Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company. From September 2005, Dr Switkowski took on a non-executive director role at Suncorp-Metway Limited. 

He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Telstra on 1 March 1999, and is also on the Board of Directors of Foxtel. Switkowski resigned as Telstra's CEO on December 3, 2004, and was replaced by Solomon Trujillo on July 1, 2005.

Prior to his appointment Dr Switkowski was Group Managing Director, Business and International, Telstra Corporation. He had previously worked as Chief Executive Officer of Optus Communications, and Chairman and Managing Director of Kodak (Australasia).

He was born in Germany to Polish parents and the family migrated to Australia in 1949. He was raised in Melbourne and went to St Bernard's College Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne, before studying at the University of Melbourne where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and a PhD in nuclear physics and went on to 6 years of post-doctoral research. In 1993 he graduated from the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

Dr Switkowski was the recipient of the 1995 Advance Australia Award for outstanding achievement in Industry and Commerce.

On June 6, 2006, Dr Switkowski was appointed to chair a Commonwealth Government inquiry into the viability of a domestic nuclear power industry. The taskforce concluded that Australia is well positioned to increase production and export of uranium as well as adding nuclear power to its own energy mix. However an independent panel of Australian scientists and nuclear experts have been critical of these findings, claiming that they relied upon flawed assumptions while dodging important questions such as the disposal of waste and the potential greenhouse gas implications of increased mining.

Switkowski was subsequently appointed chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) by federal Science Minister, Julie Bishop on March 4, 2007. Dr Switkowski was originally appointed to the board of ANSTO on January 1, 2006, but stood down when appointed to the inquiry. Dr Switkowski after standing down from the board was reappointed as Chairman on 1 March 2007. His term as Chairman concludes at the end of 2010.

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