Vodafone chief in sudden departure

Vodafone Retail managing director Peter Edwards has left the company less than 12 months after spearheading the 35m radical revamp of its 240 outlets.

According to a source close to the company, Edwards’ departure is linked to a disagreement over spending on advertising and marketing.

Money earmarked for spending in these areas was apparently spent on an alternative promotion. This is denied by the mobile phone operator which says his departure was “amicable”. Edwards left on Monday but it is not known if he has a job to go to.

Vodafone spokeswoman Corinne Norris says: “Peter Edwards has decided to leave the company – it was an amicable agreement. Effectively he has left already but officially his employment will finish at the end of this month.”

Peter Bamford, managing director of Vodafone Distribution, which includes Retail, Connect and Corporate, has taken over the role until a new managing director is appointed. “It is likely the new managing director will come from outside the group,” says Norris.

Edwards was managing director of Talkland for five years and became managing director of Vodafone Retail when it was created in July 1997. All mobile phone outlets under the Talkland, People’s Phone, London Car Telephones and Astec Buzz names were subsequently rebranded Vodafone.

Vodafone is also searching for two top-level marketing executives to head new dedicated “pay as you talk” and “loyalty” marketing teams, based in Newbury (MW May 7).

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