Blok has almost 35 years’ telecommunications experience at Dutch-based landline and mobile telecommunications company, KPN, where he was CEO for seven years until April last year.
He started his career in Finance at KPN before becoming responsible for several businesses including Carrier Services, Corporate Networks and Network Operations. In 2006 he was appointed a member of the KPN Board of Management, where he was consecutively responsible for the Fixed Division, Business Market – Wholesale – Operations and Mobile International. He was appointed CEO in April 2011.
From 2011 to 2017 Blok was co-chairman of the Dutch National Cyber Security Council, an advisory body of the Dutch government. He was also a Director for the international association GSMA from 2017 – April 2018.
Mullen said he was delighted to welcome to the Board such an experienced executive who understood the challenges currently faced by telecommunications companies around the world.
“At KPN, in his role as CEO, Eelco led significant change programs resulting in value uplift for all stakeholders. Improvements included strengthening their market positions and balance sheet, improving NPS and achieving top quartile employee engagement,” said Mullen.
“The need for turnaround at KPN has many similarities with Telstra’s journey and we believe he will bring great value as we continue to execute on our critical T22 strategy.
“Over the past year we have been recruiting some very talented telecommunications professionals, adding to the wealth of experience we already have on the Board. Eelco will add to that significant depth given his recent telecommunications experience and the similar challenges facing operators around the world.”
Blok’s appointment to the Board is effective from 15 February 2019. He will stand for election by shareholders at the Telstra Annual General Meeting later in the year. Blok will also be a member of the Nomination Committee.
Following this appointment, the Telstra Board will comprise nine Directors: Chairman John Mullen, CEO Andrew Penn and directors Eelco Blok, Roy H Chestnutt, Craig Dunn, Peter Hearl, Nora Scheinkestel, Margaret Seale and Niek Jan van Damme.