Everything Everywhere (EE) CEO Tom Alexander resigned a little more than a year after he was appointed to lead the new company formed by the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK.
This move, which caught the industry by surprise, was announced by EE only days before the company reveals its second-quarter results. Financial analysts have recently criticised EE, arguing that the largest UK mobile operator needs to speed up the network integration process.
Alexander, who is leaving for undisclosed personal reasons, was tasked with overhauling Orange and T-Mobile, according to a Guardian report, and delivering £3.5 billion of cost-savings to its joint owners, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. But the merged company has underperformed and seen a steep decline in attracting new subscribers, along with a drop in earnings of 2 per cent.
However, there is no hint that Alexander was asked to leave, and the executive will continue to advise EE on a part-time basis until year-end. Alexander personally collected more than £20 million from the flotation of Virgin Mobile in 2004.
Commenting on his resignation, Alexander said that he was proud of what he had achieved. "We conducted a rapid integration of the new company, completing a company-wide restructuring, and maintained good commercial momentum throughout, delivering record retention levels and growth on our contract customer base across both brands," he said in a statement.
But Alexander's absence from a recent high-profile party to celebrate EE's first birthday was noted by some observers as an indication that all was not running smoothly. Alexander's departure is expected to trigger a number of resignations from EE executives Alexander hired, many from his ex-company Virgin Media, according to the Guardian, which cited unnamed industry sources.
Stepping into the role will be Olaf Swantee, France Telecom's executive vice president of operations outside France. He told the Daily Telegraph that he wanted to turn EE "from being the largest operator to being the best" by focusing on consumer satisfaction and data.
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