17th Oct 2013

The re-organisation of Vodafone

Telecommunications giant Vodafone has been hitting the headlines recently; the company launched its 4G network in the UK last month and in Ireland this week, to much anticipation. Vodafone has also revealed a number of leadership changes. In November, current Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence will leave the company he has been with for a decade, and Dutchman Jeroen Hoencamp will replace him as CEO UK.

Hoencamp is an internal appointee and a Vodafone veteran; since January he has been UK enterprise director, prior to this he ran Vodafone Ireland for over two years, while at home in the Netherlands he held various sales and marketing roles with the company over the course of 12 years. Meanwhile Laurence will cross the pond to join Canadian firm Rogers Communications as president and chief executive.

Vodafone group chief Vittorio Colao spoke of the recent changes "I am sure we will miss him [Laurence] but I am also sure that his work will be continued successfully by Jeroen, with his deep knowledge of commercial management, vast international experience and remarkable successes achieved in his career with Vodafone."

When Hoencamp left Vodafone Ireland at the start of the year, Anne O’Leary became the first native Irish CEO to lead the mobile operator when she came in to replace him. As yet we do not know who will take over as the new Vodafone UK enterprise director.

In his new role Hoencamp will report to the Regional CEO of Vodafone in Europe, Phillip Humm. Humm is also newish to his role, having been promoted from head of northern Europe when Vodafone merged its northern, central and southern European operations in August.

And so, Hoencamp will acquire a company that has been undergoing huge changes. Vodafone’s European operations have been suffering declines lately, not helped by the formation of the EE group which jumped ahead of its rivals last year by launching the 4G network before them.

Hoencamp will face many challenges as Vodafone UK strives to compete with EE and O2 (the only other providers of 4G in the UK). His international experience and insider understanding of the Vodafone brand will stand him in good stead, yet no doubt his leadership effective will be tested in the coming months. Preparation will prove key – to his initial success in the first 100 days, and beyond this. Getting off to a fast and focused start will be crucial, to ensure performance acceleration from day one.

Hilda Goold

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