France Telecom is scaling back the global brand team at Orange, as part of a management restructure that started last year. The move will give the parent company greater control over the brand’s marketing department.
It emerged earlier this month that vice-president of brand and consumer propositions Niall O’Keeffe is leaving at the end of April to join PC World as marketing director. Sources say it is "unlikely" that he will be replaced.
His departure follows that of executive vice-president of brand and consumer marketing Frank Boulben at the end of last year. Boulben’s role was scrapped and his responsibilities handed to vice-president of consumer marketing for Orange Group Patrick Rouvillois, who previously reported to Boulben.
A spokeswoman for Orange denies that the restructure gives France Telecom greater control over the Orange brand, saying that Boulben also reported to FT when he was at the company. She refuses to be drawn on whether the group marketing team has been reduced as a result of the restructure, which began last year when France Telecom rebranded all its external operations as Orange.
O’Keeffe was promoted from head of consumer marketing to vice-president of brand and consumer propositions in 2005 (MW July 21, 2005) following the departure of Orange’s former chief marketing officer Alex Batchelor, who left to join Royal Mail as marketing director (MW April 21, 2005).
Orange is also looking for a UK brand director following Pippa Dunn’s promotion to head of the company’s pay-as-you-go business in November last year.