The CX Iconoclast

David Tudehope – Customers as the Best Guide for Innovation and Change

April 17, 2023 OCX Cognition Season 1 Episode 9
The CX Iconoclast
David Tudehope – Customers as the Best Guide for Innovation and Change
Show Notes

In any successful industry, leaders must answer an existential question: How do you evolve and adapt as the world around you changes? Our guest David Tudehope, CEO of Australia’s Macquarie Telecom Group, looks to customers to as the ultimate guide. In doing so, he takes a very unusual approach in an industry known for its poor customer experience. 

David explained that Macquarie Telecom Group strives to be what he calls “un-telco.” The company was founded just as the telecommunications market in Australia was deregulating, with the purpose of making a difference to underserved, overcharged telco markets in Australia. David has led Macquarie through some notable successes. Over the past decade, for example, the company’s market capitalization has grown 10 times, driven by its profitability increasing by 400%. Constant innovation has been key to this growth – Macquarie has entered new business areas and rebalanced its profit mix from 80% telco and 20% cloud a decade ago to the inverse proportion today. 

Macquarie relies on three key ingredients for its success: Customer experience through complete transparency, continuous product and service innovation, and an executive team that harnesses innovation.

A few of David’s points to listen for:

  • In David’s industry, as in others, companies that don’t innovate may not be around in a decade. He’s very clear that the customer perspective is the most effective guide for innovation. 
  • A lot of companies pay lip-service to “the customer experience,” but Macquarie has been concrete and focused about using its superior customer experience as a differentiator.
  • David credits measurement key to aligning the company around the customer experience – he regrets not moving faster to get clear, company-wide metrics in place to drive the delivery of customer experience.


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