Orange strategy director in sudden departure

Orange director of evolution, and former Orange UK marketing chief Rob Furness is leaving the mobile phone operator. It is not known if he has a job to go to.

Furness is a long-standing Orange marketer who has held several key positions including head of brand marketing and head of internet and content.

In his current role, he worked on long-term strategy for the Orange brand.

Insiders claim his departure will be followed by other senior marketers over the next few months.

Furness was involved in the advertising review in 2000 that saw WCRS lose the brand to Lowe after seven years (MW March 2, 2000).

UK marketing is headed by Jeremy Dale, UK vice-president of brand marketing. He oversaw a reshuffle in January following the departure of interim brand director Rob Rees to Duo.

As part of the restructure, Niamh Byrne was promoted to director of PR and sponsorship and Georgina Smith promoted to director of UK brand.

Orange launched a TV campaign in March to support the Try initiative, which offered customers a month’s free trial of mobile services (MW March 18). The &£8m campaign was created by Mother.

The company also launched a series of ads in February to support Orange Wednesdays, the joint initiative with the Cinema Marketing Agency, to offer “two for one” cinema tickets to customers.

Orange chief executive Solomon Trujillo stepped down in March and was replaced by Sanjiv Ahuja as part of an overhaul at France Telecom, Oranges’ parent.

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