Mystery over 4U director ‘on holiday’

Phones4U is declining to deny intense industry speculation that marketing director Paul Hamburger has been suspended from his role at the mobile phone retailer.

The company says Hamburger is on holiday and is expected back at work on Monday morning. A Phones4U spokesman refuses to elaborate on the suspension claim, and will only say: “Paul Hamburger continues to be the marketing director of Phones4U.”

Hamburger, who was not available for comment as Marketing Week went to press, rejoined Phones4U as board-level marketing director last year from T-Mobile, where he was senior director for end-user marketing. He was Phones4U’s marketing director until 2000.

The company brought him back as part of its effort to overtake market-leader Carphone Warehouse. Just a month after his return director of marketing Julian Neal, who occupied the position below Hamburger, resigned.

In March, Phones4U moved its £15m through-the-line account from CheethamBellJWT to WCRS, in a move away from price-led ads to promotion of its customer service.

Hamburger handpicked a team, including former Häagen-Dazs head of marketing Suk Grewal and ex-British Airways business marketing manager Chris Hale, to spearhead the new strategy.

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