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EE Will Lose UK CEO Olaf Swantee as Part of BT Merger Completion

Monday, January 4th, 2016 (11:00 am) - Score 1,040

The £12.5bn merger between national UK telecoms giant BT and mobile operator EE, which has already gained provisional approval from the CMA (here), will result in the loss of EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee when the deal is finalised by around the end of January.

Upon completion EE will become part of the BT Group and create a new line of business, which will necessitate a new CEO in the shape of Marc Allera (currently EE’s existing Chief Commercial Officer).

Olaf Swantee, EE’s Outgoing CEO, said:

As we approach the imminent completion of the deal with BT and the start of an exciting new chapter for EE, I’ve taken the enormously difficult decision to step down from my role as CEO, and pursue new opportunities.

I am immensely proud of the past four and a half years, creating, launching and growing EE to the exciting business it is today. It has been a period of great success, and I’d like to thank all of our employees for the incredibly hard work and support they have shown to me, as well as the business, to help achieve this.

To leave EE is probably the hardest decision of my career, but I feel the time is right for me to handover for the next exciting chapter of EE’s incredible journey. I wish Marc all the success for the future.”

The competition regulator’s provisional decision (PDF, 333KB, 15 pages) was posted online last October 2015 and this confirmed that its final report was due to be published on or around 18th January 2016. As part of that provisional decision the CMA found that the merger was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition [SLC] in any market in the UK.

However members of the CMA were a little more divided over the question of whether or not the merged company “might try to disadvantage competitors which it supplied with services such as backhaul, wholesale mobile or wholesale broadband services,” although they ultimately found that it would not be a significant threat to the market.

At this point we should note that the CMA’s remit wasn’t to investigate the entire telecoms market and on that front they pointed to Ofcom’s on-going Strategic Review, which among other things is examining the controversial question of whether or not to split BT from control of their national fixed line phone and broadband network (Openreach). Ofcom has similarly said that they believe the BT/EE merger can be managed within their existing regulatory powers (here).

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Matt says:

    This is sad to hear he has been an amazing CEO these last few years.

  2. Avatar Andrew says:

    Oh well. His work still carries on for another 2 years.
    It’s only after that that BT can go all Cellnet on it….

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