Telewest marketing chief comes out top in merger

Telewest has appointed marketing director Philip Jansen to the role of managing director of a new consumer division as it merges its cable business with the recently acquired channel provider Flextech.

Meanwhile, Flextech marketing director Mike Smallwood – former chief executive of Western International Media – is to become managing director of business and commercial affairs, looking at new revenue streams and applications for content. This comprises Flextech channels such as Living, Bravo, UKTV and entertainment website SceneOne.

Smallwood says: “My job is to see where we can make cash out of the content division, through e-commerce, broadband or WAP phones. It takes me into a broader sphere of influence, previously handled by commercial director Tony Wheble [who has left].”

Jansen’s consumer division takes in residential management, group marketing and the provision of content to consumers.

Group managing director of Flextech Brent Harman is leaving to take a role in Australia, and will be replaced by his deputy Mark Luiz, who becomes chief executive of the content division. Smallwood will report to Luiz. Jansen will report directly to merged Telewest chief executive Adam Singer.

Telewest’s &£2.3bn acquisition combines its 1.6 million cable customers with Flextech’s cable channels, which have a 25 per cent share of UK cable TV viewing. The new company has yet to be named.

The merger has already claimed its first victim: Telewest chief executive Tony Illsley left after losing the battle for the top job at the combined company to former Flextech chief Singer. He leaves with a &£6m pay-off – more than the company has ever made in annual profits.

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