Everything Everywhere Execs Go Elsewhere

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Everything Everywhere boss Tom Alexander has resigned, closely followed by sales director Duncan Hay

Everything Everywhere, the merger between Orange and T-Mobile, has been hit by a top-level double resignation. Tom Alexander, chief executive, and Duncan Hay, director of indirect sales, have both announced they are to leave the company.

Alexander, previously at Orange, steered the companies through the merger in May 2010. His surprise decision was put down to “personal reasons and to pursue other interests” and he will leave at the end of August.

Hay also announced his planned departure from the company to “explore opportunities” elsewhere. He will leave in September.

Declining Fortunes Despite Rebranding

Alexander (pictured) joined Orange in May 2008 after setting up Virgin Mobile’s operations. Although he had retired, he was coaxed back into the industry by Olaf Swantee, executive vice president of Orange’s European activities. Swantee will take over as CEO in September, mentored by Alexander until the end of the year.

The merger between the UK operations of France’s Orange and Germany’s T-Mobile last year was meant to turn the companies round as the largest telecoms operation in the region. However, last quarter Everything Everywhere (EE) added 160,000 new contract customers compared with 220,000 added in the equivalent period last year.

EE has 28m customers and sales of smartphones helped to keep service revenue positive this year. The company announced it would encourage further sales by opening 30 stores this year where potential customers could try out the latest models.

In May, Alexander missed the company’s celebrations to mark the first year of the joint venture. He issued a statement to say he was proud of what the company had achieved.

“It’s been my privilege to serve Everything Everywhere these past 12 months, and Orange before that,” he wrote. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished – we conducted a rapid integration of the new company, completing a companywide restructuring, and maintained good commercial momentum throughout, delivering record retention levels and growth on our contract customer base across both brands.”

Stakeholders France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, owners of Orange and T-Mobile respectively, are believed to have warned the EE board they will no longer prop it up financially. This has prompted the UK finance director Richard Moat to start a search for alternative investors.

Alexander says that he plans to return to the mobile market at some future point but Hay has yet to announce any plans. A successor for Hay has not been announced.

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