A public row has erupted over the sale of Australian incumbent telco Telstra, just days before the government plans to introduce the sale legislation to the Senate. The debate started when a senior executive at the telco said that Telstra’s outlook was so bad that he ‘would not recommend its shares to his 86-year old mother’. Prime Minister John Howard hit back at the remarks, branding them ‘careless and foolish’. To add insult to injury, it has also emerged that Sol Trujillo, Telstra’s new CEO, has gained board support to write to the company’s 1.6 million shareholders and warn them that new regulations proposed by the government would hurt their investment. Despite the disruption, the legislation is still expected to go to Senate this week.