Orange chief exec lures trio from Virgin Mobile

New Orange UK chief executive Tom Alexander (pictured) has moved quickly
to strengthen his senior management team with the appointment of three
former colleagues from Virgin Mobile. Alexander joined the France
Telecom-owned operator to run its UK busin…

New Orange UK chief executive Tom Alexander (pictured) has moved quickly to strengthen his senior management team with the appointment of three former colleagues from Virgin Mobile. Alexander joined the France Telecom-owned operator to run its UK business last week.

Andrew Ralston, who was customer relationship director at the “virtual” network, joins Orange UK as chief operations officer. Former Virgin Mobile operations director Gerry McQuade becomes chief development officer, while Steven Day, who was previously corporate affairs director at Virgin, is made chief of staff and communications. All the roles are new and will report directly to Alexander.

Ralston, McQuade and Day will join Orange UK’s executive management team, which also includes vice-president of marketing Jean Pascal Van Overbeke. Ralston will chair a newly formed operations board, while McQuade will head a new development board.

Ralston’s appointment, in particular, will be seen as key because Orange has been heavily criticised for letting customer service slip.

Alexander says: “Over the coming weeks, the UK management and myself will be working together to ensure the right things are in place to ensure ongoing success for Orange.”

At the end of last year, it emerged that Orange was planning to overhaul its marketing strategy in 2008 in a bid to get its “voice back”, following the appointment of Justin Billingsley as UK brand director (MW†December 13, 2007).

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