Orange hires ‘interim’ chief

Orange has hired Hilary Atherton as a “locum marketing director” to replace Lisa Gernon temporarily, though sources suggest the appointment will be made permanent.

Orange, however, insists the hunt for a permanent replacement for Gernon, who quit as group director of marketing in the summer (MW August 23), will continue while Atherton is in position.

The company says Atherton, who was previously European marketing manager at the computer company Digital, will “lead the marketing function on an interim basis. While the search continues, it is important to maintain momentum and to continue to focus on business targets”.

But inside sources suggest that rather than “interim”, Atherton could be on a probationary period and that if she is successful she will secure the top marketing role permanently. “Clearly, if she is successful, she will be well positioned to stay,” says the source. “

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