02 chief Harris takes leave to write book

O2 vice-president of marketing Will Harris has been granted six-months’ leave by the mobile company to research and write a book about the impact of the mobile phone on society.

Head of brands Anna Russell, who reports to Harris, will oversee marketing in the interim.

A spokesman for O2 says: “The book will be supported by O2 and will be based on Harris’s experiences that he has gained in the past 12 months while launching the O2 brand.” Harris will work alongside O2 UK head of communications Glen Mannoff while researching the book.

It has not been decided whether the book will be O2 branded.

Before joining O2, Harris was vice-president of global marketing at Genie, BT’s mobile internet business that was rebranded as O2 online last year. He was made vice-president of marketing at O2, previously called mmO2, two years ago when the company demerged from BT.

Harris was responsible for appointing Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest, the WCRS breakaway agency, to handle O2’s &£30m advertising account. O2 was the agency’s first client. Earlier this year the company said it was delaying the launch of its third-generation services for a year because of price cuts imposed by the Competition Commission (MW January 30).

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