|Born||Solomon Dennis Trujillo
November 17, 1951
Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
|Occupation||Chief executive officer|
|Salary||A$11 million including bonuses|
Solomon Dennis "Sol" Trujillo (born November 17, 1951) is an American businessman. He was the chief executive officer of Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company. He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Mexican immigrants.
Trujillo has a Bachelor of Business degree (BBus) and an MBA from the University of Wyoming. He began his business career in 1975 as a business forecaster for Mountain Bell. He worked as President, chairman and CEO of US WEST Communications, Inc. from 1995 to 2000. In November 2000, he became chairman and CEO of Graviton, remaining until that startup closed. In 2003, he became CEO of Orange SA, where he had served as a board member since 2001. He held that position until March 2004. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer to Australian telecom giant Telstra Communications on July 1, 2005.
During the period of Trujillo's tenure, Telstra's share price underperformed the market by around twenty percent, losing over $25 billion in value while customer complaints rose 300 percent. Major factors in the company's share price decline were the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 and being disqualified for submitting a non-compliant bid to the National Broadband Network tender issued by the Rudd Government.
On February 25, 2009, Trujillo announced he would stand down as Telstra's CEO on June 30, and return to the United States with his family. On May 19, 2009, Trujillo left Telstra and shortly after returned to the US. He was replaced as CEO by David Thodey.
Views on Australia
After Trujillo left Telstra and Australia, he was quoted in an BBC interview describing Australia as racist, backward and like "stepping back in time". During his time in Australia, media commentators and cartoonists repeatedly made reference to Trujillo's Hispanic background including caricatures of him as a "bandido". The group of American executives who were recruited to work at Telstra were referred to, along with Trujillo, as the "three amigos". In the BBC interview, Trujillo cited Australia's "very restrictive" immigration policies and rigid rules on company privatisation as his evidence for the nation being backward and racist. When Trujillo's resignation from Telstra was announced, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave an "Adios" response. Trujillo described Mr Rudd's use of the term as "racism personified". Trujillo's views on racism in Australia were repudiated by several businessmen and political leaders.
Australia's views on Sol Trujillo
Trujillo's comments that Australia was "backward" and "racist" generated anger and an overwhelming negative view of Trujillo across Australia. The day after Trujillo made his comments about Australia to the BBC, many Australians took to online news sites, television news programs and talk-back radio to voice their opinions, with many stating Trujillo had wrecked the value and brand of Telstra during his time as CEO of the company.
- "Trujillo's $11m salary is abuse of system - PM". News.com.au (News Limited). 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- "Future in Review Participants: Solomon Trujillo". Future in Review. Strategic News Service. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- "Solomon D. Trujillo, Former Head of US West, Named Chief Executive Officer of graviton". Business Wire. November 15, 2000.
- "Sol Trujillo steps down at Orange after successful completion of restructuring plan; Sanjiv Ahuja appointed new CEO". press release. March 30, 2004. Archived from the original on April 13, 2004.
- AAP (2005-06-09). "Trujillo named as new Telstra CEO". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Trujillo attacks 'racist' Australia
- Thodey looks beyond the Trujillo legacy
- Carswell, Andrew (2009-12-01). "Telstra's new man to fix woeful service". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
- Searching for another Sol Business spectator 22 Jan, 2009
- zdnet article
- The Australian
- O'Sullivan, Matt: Trujillo to leave Telstra in June, The Age, 26 February 2009.
- Bingemann, Mitchell: Sol Trujillo departs for US ahead of schedule, The Australian, 19 May 2009.
- BusinessDay's Gabrielle Costa, Chris Zappone and AAP: Racist, backward: Sol's parting shot, smh.com.au - Business Day, 26 May 2009.
- Carswell, Andrew: Business rejects Sol Trujillo's claims of racism in Australia, The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2009.