Branding by accident

Telstra Clear staff in New Zealand have received a not-very-festive email from their CEO Allan Freeth who says the company is on a “trajectory to disaster” because they lack the “killer instinct”. It continues,

We are too tame, too lame, and too timid to call ourselves a challenger… A challenger winds their opposition, kicks them down to the ground, and them makes them bleed like someone from a Quentin Tarantino movie and then finishes them off – fast.

The email says the company faces a loss of NZ$7m this year. Shareholders will be relieved to hear that Dr Freeth apparently now says the figures were a meaningless, worse-case scenario of where the company could end up. Apparently, he also thinks his email reflects “the frank style of internal communications at the company, which most staff respected.”

According to,

He also warned staff that if they did not have the stomach for the fight, it was “time to move on”.

He ended by thanking staff, saying they were some of the best he’d worked with.

Perhaps the most ironic part of Dr Freeth’s outburst is where he suggests the organisation is “all bluster and no action”.

One of the best examples of “doing a Ratner” I’ve seen in a long time…

3 thoughts on “Branding by accident

  1. Management Craft

    Interesting Stuff

    Here are a few posts I have been meaning to share – very interesting stuff! From Creative comes Office Design for the Creative Class. Snippet quoting Thoma Davenport:One factor that affects knowledge worker performance that isn’t well underst…

  2. Scott Ahlsmith CTC

    I once married Dr. Freeth’s female counterpart. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The best way to describe BPD is, “I hate you; don’t leave me.”

    The two of them could redefine, “The Art of War.”


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