Just months after quitting as NSW Premier amid a corruption probe, Gladys Berejiklian has been appointed to a senior role at telecoms giant Optus.
- This is the former prime minister’s first post since leaving politics
- Ms Berejiklian has quit amid an ICAC investigation into her former partner, Daryl Maguire
- The 51-year-old says she’s “excited” about her new role
Ms. Berejiklian will assume the newly created role of Managing Director, Corporate, Commercial and Institutional.
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said Ms Berejiklian was a proven leader who showed strength, discipline and composure during her time as prime minister.
Ms Rosmarin said she believed Ms Berejiklian would be a game-changer in her new role.
In a statement, Ms Berejiklian said she was “excited” and hoped to continue the company’s “innovative leadership in the telecommunications industry”.
Ms Berejiklian served as prime minister from January 2017 until she stepped down from politics on October 1 last year amid an anti-corruption probe centered on her private life.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption had announced the same day that it was investigating Ms Berejiklian’s conduct involving a potential conflict of interest over her relationship with former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
The watchdog has yet to issue its findings, following a hearing held in November.
His ‘close personal relationship’ with Mr Maguire was revealed during the ICAC’s Operation Keppel inquiry into the former MP.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison publicly courted Ms Berejiklian to stand in the next federal election as a candidate for the Warringah seat in December, but she declined.
Last week alleged text messages sent by Ms Berejiklian and a federal cabinet minister in 2020 came to light in which she allegedly called Mr Morrison a “horrible person”.
Responding to the reports, Ms Berejiklian said she had “no recollection” of sending the text messages and that the Prime Minister had his full support as a leader.
Prior to entering politics, Ms. Berejiklian worked as a manager in youth retail banking and government affairs for Commonwealth Bank.
The 51-year-old was elected to the state seat in Willoughby, Sydney’s north, in 2003.
Ms Berejiklian was appointed Transport Minister and Treasurer under her predecessors as Prime Minister Barry O’Farrell and Mike Baird respectively.