Mercury boss quits for Vodafone

Mercury One-2-One’s acting director of marketing has quit to join rival Vodafone as a board director.

Alan Harper has been business strategy director for the mobile phone service provider since its launch in 1992. He has also run marketing and product development since the resignation of sales and marketing director Steve Dunn in March.

Harper informed One-2-One of his decision to quit late last week. He left the company immediately.

This week he begins six months “gardening leave” before becoming commercial director for the Vodafone group. He will oversee interconnect agreements and regulatory and licensing issues.

Harper’s departure comes at a critical time for Mercury One-2-One. The company has been without a full-time sales and marketing director since Dunn’s departure.

The search is becoming in-creasingly urgent because a TV campaign through its newly appointed agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty starts next month.

Mercury One-2-One is forging a new marketing strategy to make its product appeal to the business as well as consumer market.

Design consultancy Identica is designing a corporate identity for the firm.

Insiders say the post has been offered to an external candidate. However, Mercury One-2-One was unable to announce an appointment as Marketing Week went to press. Head of marketing Roger Vigilance will fill the role temporarily.

“Starting a new campaign without a marketing director is not the most perfect timing,” says Mercury One-2-One managing director Richard Goswell. But he says he is confident the newcomer will welcome the changes.

Mercury One-2-One has not yet decided who will succeed Harper as business strategy director. Goswell will take charge of the group until an appointment is made.

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