In a surprise move, Vodafone UK marketing chief Paul Donovan is to take up the role of chief executive officer for Eircell, the mobile network’s arm in the Republic of Ireland.
Vodafone is not looking to fill Donovan’s current position as commercial managing director.
Instead, the marketing team will be headed by brand and channel marketing director Colin Morley, who will report to UK chief operating officer Gavin Darby.
Donovan replaces Stephen Brewer, who has been chief executive of Eircell since 1995, and returns to the UK to be managing director sales and distribution, also reporting to Darby.
Vodafone is not giving any reasons for the shuffle, except that it provides opportunities for both Donovan and Brewer to develop new skills.
Although Eircell is the Republic of Ireland’s largest mobile phone network with a 60 per cent share, it has just 1.5 million customers compared with Vodafone’s 12.5 million customers in the UK.
Donovan joined Vodafone in 1999, following a stint working for Cable & Wireless Optus in Australia. Previously he worked at One 2 One, where he was credited with building the network into a powerful consumer brand.
Donovan was also responsible for moving Vodafone UK’s £41m advertising business from BMP DDB to WCRS earlier this year.
Donovan will take up his post at Eircell on October 1.
Eircell is in the process of being rebranded to reflect the fact that it is part of the Vodafone group.