Rosmarin is also a director of London Stock Exchange-listed Airtel Africa, which counts Optus owner SingTel as a major investor.
“The board should be saying, right, we’re a massive customer business. We’re a massive IT business. We should not be having outside commitments because this is a full-time [job],” Kolesnikoff said.
Optus is still dealing with the fallout of the hack, in which hackers also accessed 150,000 passport and 50,000 Medicare numbers. Of the 9.8 million whose data was accessed, Optus believes 7.7 million do not need to replace documents. That could be because their identity document data was not collected, was not recorded properly, or is out of date and cannot be used to verify their identity.
A full report by Deloitte that Optus has commissioned has yet to be completed. It will not be made public for security reasons, according to Optus.
Bayer Rosmarin’s election to the REA board is almost certainly assured thanks to the 61 per cent stake held by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. But a rejection by minority investors would be a significant black mark against REA, Bayer Rosmarin, and Singtel.
“Let’s go back to basic principles and say, OK, you get paid truckloads of money when you do all these important things. And protecting customers – who are supposedly the reason why you’re making money – is very important,” Kolesnikoff said.
ISS has also recommended a vote against the grant of performance rights to REA chief executive Owen Wilson on the basis that the company has failed to disclose quantified targets for his incentives. REA’s 2023 long-term incentive grant was also described as excessive.
Optus has declined to comment.
The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.