Vodafone U-turn as Yates returns to head marketing

Vodafone has reappointed Tim Yates as its UK marketing chief following a management reshuffle. Stephen Noakes, who has been the telecoms giant’s top UK marketer on an interim basis, is understood to be leaving the company. It is not known whether he has a job to go to.

Yates has been the interim head of the consumer business unit (CBU) since last year but it was announced internally at the end of last week that he will be returning to his position of chief marketing officer with immediate effect. Craig Tillotson, who was previously strategy director, has been handed responsibility for the CBU, while director of commercial operations Ian Shepherd has been appointed to the board as strategy and business development director. All three will report to UK chief executive Nick Read.

Yates was first handed the top UK marketing role in 2004 after Vodafone UK’s then top marketer Lance Batchelor left the division to take on an international role. Yates was previously marketing director for Vodafone Ireland.

Vodafone UK head of brand and marketing communications Dominic Chambers will report to Yates, having previously reported to Noakes. Chambers, a former Uniqlo marketing director, handed Bartle Bogle Hegarty Vodafone’s £47m UK account at the end of last year after a pitch against incumbent JWT.

Honda’s former brand chief, Matthew Coombe, joined Vodafone UK’s marketing department at the end of last year as head of brand (MW October 12, 2006). He was previously marketing communications manager at Honda and was one of the key figures behind the marque’s award-winning advertising.

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