TalkTalk replaces MD as it seeks to bolster up broadband service

The Carphone Warehouse has appointed Wendy Becker to run its fixed-line business TalkTalk. Becker, who joins from management consultancy McKinsey, replaces David Thatcher, who is leaving the company after two years.

Becker has been a partner at McKinsey for 10 years and has also previously worked at Procter & Gamble. She will lead all of Carphone’s broadband and telecoms activity, as well as taking the managing director role at TalkTalk.

Thatcher has led TalkTalk through what Carphone describes as an “extraordinarily challenging” two-year period. During that time it launched its “free” broadband service, but was overwhelmed by demand, leading to complaints about poor customer service.

But Carphone says TalkTalk is now making “very substantial profits” after the investments of the last two years, and that it wants to take its broadband service to a “whole new level”.

Thatcher joined TalkTalk in January 2006 to replace Max Alexander, who left to become chief executive of Thomson Directories. Prior to that, Thatcher spent four years at cable company NTL as head of its consumer sales and marketing division. It is not known if he is leaving Carphone with a job to go to.

Carphone is currently looking for a new UK marketing director following the departure of Dominic Rowell at the end of last year (MW October 11, 2007).

Rowell joined the telecoms giant in January 2006 from McDonald’s, where he was UK head of marketing. At Carphone, he was responsible for retail and product marketing, as well as brand development, and reported to group marketing director Tristia Clarke.

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