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Mark Evans Appointed CEO of O2 UK, For as Long as it Lasts

Friday, July 15th, 2016 (3:36 pm) - Score 2,601

Mobile operator O2 (Telefónica UK) has promoted its current CFO, Mark Evans, to the top job of CEO, where he replaces long-standing boss Ronan Dunne. The change in management follows O2’s failed £10.25bn merger attempt with Three UK (here), which has left the operator to face an uncertain future.

Apparently Dunne is leaving his post on 31st July 2016, after successfully completing a strategic review of O2’s UK business that will result in Telefónica UK being “reconsolidated within the Telefónica SA group“. However Dunne also said he would “continue to support the business with its strategic ambitions until September 2016.”

José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman of Telefónica SA, said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Evans as CEO of Telefónica UK. Mark’s contribution as CFO has been instrumental in delivering revenue and profit growth over the last four years and I know the business will be in good hands with him as leader.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ronan for his outstanding leadership, dedication and achievements not only as O2’s longest serving CEO but his support and contribution as a member of the group executive to Telefónica’s transformation journey. He has led the O2 brand to achieve great things on behalf of its customers, employees and shareholders and built a team of talent to be proud of. I wish him all the best for the future.”

Everything sounds so positive, it’s almost enough to make you forget that Telefónica SA are still struggling with a massive mountain of debt (around £40bn+) and the failed merger with Three UK hasn’t exactly helped matters.

As such Telefónica is still considering its future, which is likely to involve a possible float or sale of their O2 UK division. Both Liberty Global (Virgin Media) and Iliad SA (‘Free Mobile’ in France) have signalled that they might be interested, but only time will tell if that turns out to be anything more than talk.

At least Mark Evans is “hugely excited by the opportunity to lead O2 through its next chapter.” Similarly Dunne has been keen to praise O2 as a “very special” brand and one that, he believes, faces an “exciting new chapter.” Everybody is excited then, except perhaps those trying to figure out what to do about all the debt.

As a side note, Evans also oversees the running of their giffgaff brand (a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica) and is Chairman of Tesco Mobile and Non-Executive Director at Hiscox.

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