Telstra CEO David Thodey announced his retirement today, stepping down after six years in the top job. He will be replaced by Andrew Penn, the company’s chief financial officer, who will officially take the reigns on 1 May 2015.

Telstra chairman Catherine Livingstone announced the appointment this morning and paid tribute to Thodey’s tenure as CEO, during which time the company’s value more than doubled from $40 billion to above $80 billion.

“David has been an outstanding chief executive for our customers, shareholders and employees. His passion for customer service and instigating true cultural change had had an enormously positive effect on our company, which has been reflected in our financial performance in recent years,” she said.

Penn, 51, has more than 30 years’ experience in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and across the Asia Pacific.

“Andy is a seasoned executive in global markets with proven capability to lead organisations through significant transitions and major expansion,” Livingstone said.

“He has played a key role in developing Telstra’s long-term growth strategy and we are delighted he will continue to lead Telstra’s plans to increase customer advocacy, core business value and capitalise on new growth opportunities.

“It is a testament to David Thodey that we are able to select the next chief executive from within the business.”

Penn said he would build of Thodey’s work positioning Telstra as a customer-focused organisation.

“Telstra plays a critical role to provide leading technology solutions and service to our customers in the consumer, business and broader social environment,” Penn said.

“The Telstra Board and leadership team has developed compelling plans to 2020, and beyond, which will expand our capability as an increasingly global connectivity company and position us for future growth.”

Thodey will continue to assist with the transition after 1 May until the end of the financial year.