Orange hires Virgin Mobile founder as new UK chief

Orange UK has appointed Virgin Mobile founder Tom Alexander as its new chief executive after confirming that Bernard Ghillebaert will step down. Alexander, who left Virgin Mobile last year following its acquisition by NTL, joins Orange in December.

The management shake-up follows a review of Orange’s UK business by Orange Group’s senior executive vice-president for personal communication services for the UK, Europe and the Middle East Olaf Swantee, who joined the company last August. Ghillebaert, who was made chief executive of Orange UK in 2005, becomes executive vice-president of sales and customer service for Orange Group.

Alexander, who will report to Swantee, was chief executive of Virgin Mobile from its inception as a “virtual” network until last year. Prior to setting up Virgin Mobile, Alexander was deputy commercial director of BT Cellnet.

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