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Saying goodbye to our founder, Michael Malone

goodbye-MM-Blog

We’ve been upgrading the lives of customers for nearly 21 years.

But our original upgrader, Michael Malone, has decided to close a major chapter in his life and leave iiNet.

We will build on his story and the awesome company he founded and we wish him well on the beginning of an exciting new chapter.

It’s sad to see our founder leave but it’s also a chance to reflect on the good times. We’re collecting memories of his time at iiNet and need your help.

Please share your comments, photos and memorabilia from the past 21 years of iiNet by posting your comments in the comments below. Or upload photos to social media and use the hashtag #goodbyeMM and tag @iiNet for Facebook and @iiNet on Twitter or +iiNet on GooglePlus. We’ll collect all your contributions and include them in a presentation for MM.

So long MM and thanks for all the fish!

 

44 comments

  1. Gavan says:

    All the best to Mr Malone who I consider a pioneer in the field of Aussie intellectual property. His company was picked out of a hat of ISP companies by greedy and bully multi-million dollar movie, music and software conglomerates in an attempt to teach internet carriers a ‘lesson’ to stop alleged piracy activities. They could have picked on Telstra, Optus, Virgin (or other similar giants) but they chose what they thought was a small ‘pushover’ entity in iiNet. They were wrong! Mr Malone’s fight through four major court cases (finishing in the High Court of Australia where ii Net was found not to have facilitated breaches of copyright) was testament to his determination and belief in the Co. No doubt there would have been many sleepless nights. But Mike never disclosed his customers details. Good luck with everything.

  2. Barrie Ridgway says:

    Michael I have been with Ozemail / iiNet since 1998 and have seen it grow in size, in professional services and customer caring. Thank you for the leadership you have given, not only to your company but to the industry as a whole. I hope your “retirement” is simply to slow down, to smell the flowers, to relax and enjoy life. May you thoroughly enjoy the years ahead.

  3. Margaret Biddulph says:

    iinet is just the very best. Trust nothing will change now.

    Thank you for the great service.

  4. Maureen says:

    I have been with iiNet since it began.
    I have loved the way it has grown & the experience has only improved with time.
    Thank you.

  5. Maureen says:

    I have been with iiNet since day 1.
    I have loved it & the customer service which keeps getting better with time.
    Thank you for your services.

  6. James Nicholson says:

    I started with Ozemail when it was the only viable alternative (in Tasmania) to the klunky and unfriendly Bigpond. They provided great service and customer care.
    Very nervous when iinet took over but the great service got better and never looked back.
    Well done iinet.

  7. Hector Inness says:

    Thanks Mr Malone,great Company,I hope whoever takes over keeps the same standards,with improvements as usual.Relax you need time off-Good luck with bigger and better things in store for you.
    Sad Day for Iinet.

  8. Peter Foley says:

    I’ve been with iinet for quite a number of years. They were recommended to me on the basis of their customer service. I have to say I have never been disappointed and have recommended them to others on this basis.
    All the boffins talk about customer service but very few have managed to carry it through and maintain it into a large business framework as iinet has done. It is a credit to Michael the way he has built this business to the size and complexity that while continuing to successfully nurture this crucial element. I wish him all the best in his future adventures and hope his successor at iinet will be equally vigilant.

  9. Alan Miller says:

    Dear Michael, I have been with iinet since 1996 when I purchased a PowerMac 7500 from Random Access.
    Thank you for bringing the best ISP into our lives. I have enjoyed unfettered access to iinet every year and I want to wish you all the best in your next endeavour. I know you what ever you do next, it will be done with the same attention to detail, customer service and a sense of belonging as you have built up in iinet.
    Thankyou and all the best.
    Alan

  10. Well done, Mike. A great effort. Go on to bigger things.

  11. Diane says:

    I have been amazed at the patience that all the company ‘techs’ have shown each time I have had a problem. I can only attribute this to iinet choosing very particular people, with great abilities but also great communication skills.. Thank you, Michael.

  12. John Harrison says:

    Sad to see you go Michael. Since switching to iinet some years ago you have saved me many many dollars of my hard earned pension.
    Phone calls and my computer usage(although
    fairly limited are now affordable. Enjoy your break as I am sure you will launch yourself into some new project, with more success I’m sure. Best wishes,

    John Harrison.

  13. Joedy says:

    So does this mean the company has been sold?

  14. Paul Loring says:

    Michael Malone.

    I joined iinet in the very early days. I remember having a connection problem on Boxing Day and phoning help, and Michael answered the call, said he would sort it out and call me back. In those days I think he was omega…… That I think set the standard for iinet service when the CEO did customer service during public holidays!

    Later ADSL arrived, but iinet couldn’t persuade Telstra to sell them wholesale access, so I asked iinet what to do, and the message came back from Michael, I think your only option at present is to join Telstra, which I did. How many these companies would be that upfront. Moving to Telstra was one of the worst things I experienced, ADSL was great when it worked, but the support in WA was abysmal. Eventually iinet were able to get wholesale ADSL from Telstra and I returned to the fold. That too was complicated, Telstra didn’t want to allow me to leave, and neither Telstra nor iinet knew how to switch an existing ADSL user from one ISP to another. That meant I was talking to the Directors at both ends while they learned the ropes. I have been with iinet ever since. Good luck MM in your future endeavours. As a wealthy man who was driven by customer service I hope you experience the benefits of being Philanthropic.

  15. Irene Smith says:

    Thankyou Michael Malone for founding a Telco that we can rely on. I have enjoyed many years of great service. Thankyou

  16. JulieAnne Wolfe says:

    Michael,

    Thank you from a loyal customer! Whilst i have only been with Iinet for the past approx 4 yrs, i have ALWAYS found your customer service to be highly diligent; courteous and professional.

    My previous provider of 20 yrs does not come CLOSE to the sort of support Iinet does and i am soooo glad to have changed over.

    For this, i thank you Michael! Granted, whilst it’s the ‘team’s’ providing their assistance whenever we call, it all comes down to Chain of Command and if the powers that be have great staff under them and there’s loyalty and respect throughout the company, it filters through so be proud of yourself Michael for you have wonderful staff working for you all!

    I am very grateful for Iinet’s ongoing support and updates.

    May your future be wonderful and be happy. Once gain,

    thank you!

    A loyal and happy customer.

  17. Hi Michael,
    you’ve made iinet the company that feels good to customers because of the congenial genuine human nature at work there.
    iinet will always be my favourite internet company!
    travel well wherever you go,

    carla; Perth, Pensioner, Author.

  18. Hi Michael,
    You have made a company that has gained five stars for the congenial human qualities of the staff.
    Travel well wherever you go!
    Carla

  19. Gordon says:

    Awe-inspiring and motivational. Should be more like Michael. Go MM.

  20. Peter McMullen says:

    Thanks Michael. Your long years at the helm really made us proud to know you were one of the only directors and companies on the customers side. Like your company and staff you rate 10/10 as being genuinely customer orientated and on our side till the bitter end.

    It has been a pleasure bringing everyone I know accross to your white side.

  21. Chris Guppy says:

    I first met Mike way back and not under the best circumstance when working at AlphaWest in the ’90s.

    Both companies were in QV1 Building in Perth then, iinet on the 9th floor Alpha on the 10th.

    AlphaWest had put in a staff kitchen which one day decided to flood, the kitchen happened to be right above the iinet server room…

    A quick thinking engineer shot downstairs and between buckets and cloths disaster was averted :)

    I seem to recall that Friday night drinks were on AlphaWest and in their boardroom for several weeks after and that was where I first met Mike :)

    We’ve seen each other from time to time since but not often – great guy, enjoy the next chapter Mike!! :)

    Cheers

  22. Glen Prokopyszyn says:

    I met Michael Malone in person in 2004 and the career advice he gave me at an iiNet company celebration day has stuck with me ever since.

    One of the nicest people I ever met at iiNet.

  23. Rik Hughes says:

    What a good bloke. I’ve been with iinet for 16 plus years and recommend them to anyone that mentions an ISP or Mobile phone company. The one thing I stress to everyone is the unsurpassed customer service from the staff at iinet. Michaels view on business and how to succeed via happy customers should be carved in stone. Great bloke and a great company. Cheers Michael, I salute you.

  24. Gerry Atkinson says:

    My wife Jill and I have been members – well that’s how we see ourselves – of iinet – from your early days and speaking as two elderly beings we want you to know that we have been more than satisfied with the service and help we have received over the years. May success follow you through the years ahead and a Happy Easter. Jill and Gerry Atkinson

  25. w hume says:

    WHY

  26. Marcus k says:

    MM you have created an awesome, young feeling company who stands up for what the people believe in and what is right for progress.
    I never knew I could be passionate about a company and what it stands for but for iiNet I make an exception.

    Cudos!

    Mk

  27. Helen Murphy says:

    Hi Michael, I can remember communicating directly with when I had a problem and you sorted out the kinks. Can’t remember how many years ago but a lot!
    Best Wishes, Helen

  28. I joined iiNet in 1995, then left and then came back in 2002. I remember as a newbie in 1995 getting email help from MM. I guess he was both the CEO and helkp desk at the dsame time :) I also remember stories about him going to customers houses to help them with their technical problems. At the time he was running iiNet in his parent’s garage and I remember that he also had a partner (Michael O’Reilly I think).

    I never met him in person but I admire him and now that he left iiNet, I just hope the company keeps his hight ethical standards. That’s how I always saw him. An ethical person who grew a business from nothing to the 2nd largest ISP in Australia, based on honesty, hard work and excellent customer service.

    I wish him all the best!

    Fernando Fidalgo

  29. Paul Rayson says:

    Michael
    You are a great leader with great values and have raised the bar on staff engagement and customer service. Well done, you have made a difference. Best Wishes for what ever is next.

    Paul Rayson
    Managing Director
    CommSec

  30. Julie Otremba says:

    I remember when you used your shed in Warick Perth to start up.My fisrt experience with iinet was $100 pre paid start up disc it was all so new to everyone but I never changed only went to line and broadband. Thanks for all your acheivements in the industry and for making it afforable and with great customer service. Happy Life

  31. Kristyn says:

    Congratulations Michael, your company philosophy of honest customer service has been proved in us being in our 9th year of being a customer of iinet. I wish you well in your future roles and hope that your honesty and beliefs continue at iinet.

  32. Neil Green says:

    I would like to say a big farewell to Mr Malone.
    I have been with iinet for over 19 years and can still remember speaking to Michael when he was in the garage in the Northern suburbs and helpng me set up my 56k modem. we also had a mutual love of mitsubishi Magna cars.Sadly I have never had the chance to shake Michaels hand and thank him for the service he and iinet has given to me in that time.I will leave my final comment that i think is fitting for this moment to the late Douglas Adams “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be”.

  33. Chris says:

    A true pioneer and peoples advocate.

    Congrats Michael and enjoy a well earned retirement although I tend to think someone like Michael will get bored quickly..

    Thanks for providing a fantastic product and a great company.

    Watch this space I guess..

  34. Steve says:

    A pity, but I guess that’s progress. Thanks a million for kicking off a great idea, then having the insight & tenacity to develop such a great company. Your customer service is still an outstanding example which needs to be emulated by Telstra. Good luck & thanks again.

  35. Irene Rolles says:

    Since becoming a customer of iinet, I have not suffered hair pulling out that I experienced daily with Bigpond/Telstra. It is refreshing to deal with a company who understands people on the other end of the phone and handles their problems with professionalism and work out any major internet problems. I am 65, and during my time with Bigpond, I had been treated like a moron that should have been in a nursing home and not have anything to do with a computer. After joining iinet, I discovered that the problems belonged to Bigpond and nothing to do with me, although because of Bigpond. I lost a super computer, lost a surmountable amount of games purchase from developers that I would need to repurchase again. But the only time I need to contact iinet was either to help with activating a new computer or changing my Bpay schedule. I am looking forward to the day when iinet will take over Bigpond and remove the headache that so many Bigpond customers are having.
    I wish Michael all the best in his retirement and hope that he enjoys every new endeavour that he persues. Thank you, Michael for the very professional and excellent service that your company provides.

  36. david bird. says:

    I have not been your biggest customer, nor your best perhaps but to quote a favourite phrase. You “done good Michael.
    Might even say you “done excellent”. If your next move is as successful for the people you deal with as this last venture then I confirm the “done excellent” bit. Just goes to show.

  37. Glenda Campi says:

    I thankyou for having the amazing insight to achieve what you have done and provide me with such great service over the past 9 years in doing so. I now know your story and feel humbled to. What a wonderful legacy….
    Enjoy the next challenge and continue the success.

  38. Marianne Kirk says:

    Michael, enjoy the next phase of your life. Thank god for people like you who provide excellent competition for the greedy huge telcos. Iinet rules!

  39. Helena Pickering says:

    I am very sad to see this leader leave. I have been with iinet since it was ihug!!!
    The customer service that was introduced to this company is superior. Your training exemplary. This is what Australia can learn most from, common sense with solutions at the ready! I even made a friend all the way in South Africa because of the service. I will miss your knowledge that you passed onto your staff….Thank you

  40. trish bodycoat says:

    Dear Michael
    I have been with iinet sinçe the beginning and have never met such an amazing group of employees, where customer service was the highest priority followed closely by patience and empathy. Your example to the business world can not help but enhance Australia’s reputation in the long term. I know you are extremely good to your staff, they appreciate it and so it flows on and down. Thankyou Trish

  41. Donna Wood says:

    I’m almost 70 and I first met Michael in the early days when everything was still AARNet, newsgroups, ftp-ing and klunky 56kbps modems. I was impressed then by his enthusiasm. Soon Mosaic and Netscape browsers arrived and he worked tirelessly into spreading the word about the Internet and its benefits. He was visionary, but he also made practical sense to the masses. Guess we were primitive then pre-Google with Altavista and other search engines, but Michael kept speaking and converting people to using the net. He never let profit be his main driver and he was notable for his integrity and doing the best for his customers. Now we have Internet in the pocket with 2/3 of Australians on smart phones. Thank you Michael for a stunning and lasting contribution. To finish, well, as I’ve said before, I can only quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around sometimes, you could miss it.” Have a good look around, Michael. Am sure you will find something new and interesting to do. All the best to you and your family for the future.

  42. Elaine Fisk says:

    Congratulations on all your achievements. iinet is a great company which I am sure you are extremely proud of, rightly so. Great service and great staff. Have a wonderful retirement

  43. Peter says:

    Been dealing with iinet since his early days in the garage and enjoying trumpet winsock and ppp over 56K modem. NOT :-)

    Never had a telco rep say “sorry .. our bad, will fix it”. Is refreshing.

    Tx for the memories

  44. Jan Starling says:

    Have been with iinet for years with very few problems. I followed your career closely over that time and was always impressed and inspired by your business ethics and ideals. You will be missed Michael.
    All the best for the future and thank you.

    Jan

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