Sol Trujillo as victim of malicious Rudd racist “adios”…

27 May

… only if the unexpressed “arrogant turd” is racial vilification. We colonials take rather unkindly to being labelled “backward”, and I am sure the Singaporeans were not impressed by Trujillo’s stewardship either:

SOL TRUJILLO’S claims on the BBC that Australia is a racist country sit oddly with the dog-whistle politics which Telstra played so hard and so often under his three-year stewardship.

"We are an Australian company, majority owned by Australians. We are not from Singapore or anywhere else," Mr Trujillo’s chairman, Donald McGauchie, told shareholders at the company’s AGM a year ago.

The Singapore reference was a shot at Telstra’s main competitor, Optus, which is owned by Singapore Telecommunications…

So writes Michael West in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. I even find myself in broad agreement with Peter Costello, former Howard treasurer:

There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Sol Trujillo’s performance as chief executive of Telstra. Race is not one of them.

Kevin Rudd was foolish to take a cheap shot – saying "adios" – when Trujillo left. And Trujillo is milking it as evidence that Australia is racist.

But come on, Sol. You came to Australia and took up the prize job in Australia’s telecommunications industry. After four years you are leaving with $30 million of cash and bonuses. And you want us to believe you are a victim of racism?…

Trujillo says he changed Australia. Not in the way he thinks. One change is that corporate boards are going to be more wary of overseas appointments in future. Australian executives are as good as any in the world. A chief executive who understands the country and has a long-term interest in its future is a valuable asset for a company in a sensitive sector.

The Telstra directors could not have been surprised things ended the way they did under Trujillo. His previous track record was there for all to see. In my view, the board has a lot of explaining to do. It’s about judgment and performance. It is not about race.

The “Ugly American” rides again…

Yesterday I remarked on Twitter: “What a twerp!” Indeed.


9 responses to “Sol Trujillo as victim of malicious Rudd racist “adios”…

  1. Bruce

    May 27, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I expect that victims of the Cronulla riots will give a minute’s silence to reflect upon the racist torments suffered by Sol Trujillo.

  2. Alex

    May 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Ughhh, unbelievable. I’m happy to read your opinion here, and ones of other big blog sites like DT online and Sydney Spy who agree that this is all ridiculous. I’m yet to read anything sensible about why Sol could be excused at all….

  3. Benjamin Solah

    May 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    So true Bruce!

    Sol was hardly targeted as a Mexican. People were hostile to him because he was rich, and he was usually identified as American more than Mexican.

  4. Neil

    May 27, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks, all. @Benjamin: It wasn’t even a matter of his being rich, though like most CEOs his pay packet is hard to believe or justify, but the real rub was the way he insisted on inflicting on us an approach to business that was culturally obnoxious. A letter writer in today’s Herald wonders whether we should look to US financial institutions and banks for models on how to conduct business as well.

  5. Benjamin Solah

    May 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Yeah, that’s true. I certainly don’t want to import the US laws on unions. I had a friend who worked for Telstra and found Telstra’s attitude to unions pretty bad under Sol’s reign.

  6. Neil

    May 30, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Of course I condemn that, but could counter that such things and worse happen in many countries, even in India, though I go along with the spirit of that article.

    Where I live there are very many Indians; part of Surry Hills is even nicknamed “Little India”, as we have thanks to that several authentic places to experience dhaba food, my local newsagent is Indian, and my immediate neighbours are Indian. No problem there.

    On the other hand, this has nothing to do with the odious Sol Trujillo. I mean, even former PM John Howard’s Treasurer pooh-poohs the alleged racism Sol is now moaning about.

    Naturally, I admit there are more than enough racists in Australia.

    See my English/ESL blog.

  7. rummuser

    May 30, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Neil, my topi’s off to you. Human beings everywhere are subject to all kinds of influences and to be modern, and tolerant seems to be out of fashion now a days.

  8. Neil

    June 1, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks, Ramana; and I agree with your last point, though sadly there are too many for whom it has always been out of fashion.

    Interesting report on ABC News.

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has condemned recent attacks on Indian students as deplorable and says the Government is working with authorities to bring those responsible for the violence to justice.

    Mr Rudd today told Parliament he has spoken to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the attacks which saw hundreds of students in Melbourne take to the streets last night in protest.

    “I speak on behalf of all Australians when say I say that we deplore and condemn these attacks,” he said.

    “I said to Prime Minister Singh that the more than 90,000 Indian students in Australia are welcolme guests in our country.”

    He also said the Government will work closely with the states and territories “as a matter of urgency” to work on ways to help international students feel safer.

    Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull described the attacks as “profoundly un-Australian”. …

    Yesterday’s protest was organised by the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) but this morning FISA spokesman Gautam Gupta said the rally was hijacked by people with their own agenda.

    FISA said in a statement on its website the rally aimed to create an awareness about an increasing number of what it called “hate crimes” in Victoria and to promote racial harmony and peace.

    “I think absolutely they should have left because we are seeking peace, we are seeking non-violence, and we should be leading by example. And this is no way to lead by example,” he said.

    “Unfortunately the whole thing was hijacked by people with their own intention.”

    A 22-year-old man was arrested at the protest yesterday and is facing charges of riotous behaviour and criminal damage.

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