BT head of branding quits for university lecturer role

BT head of brand strategy James Freund is leaving the company after nine years to become a marketing lecturer at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).

During his time at BT, Freund conducted the global research programme that led to the creation of the O2 brand and played a central role in its development.

He also played a major part in BT’s switch from the Piper logo to the current Connected World design.

Freund is joining LUMS as a lecturer in branding and marketing, and will teach across a number of courses, including the MSc in marketing and the MBA and BSc in advertising. He will also help develop new programmes.

He says: “I will be able to apply my business experience to the study of how brands can evolve and deal with the unique challenges of today.”

Freund’s departure is not connected to the 4,000 management job cuts that were announced by BT last week. The telecoms giant is restructuring in a bid to make the business more efficient.

BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen said last week that 2,000 staff had already left, with the remainder due to depart before the end of the year.

It is thought that the marketing team is affected by the redundancies, although a BT spokesman will not comment on individuals.

BT scrapped its marketing communications team at the end of last year, in a restructure that also saw consumer marketing chief Tracey Follows leave the company to join Lowe (MW December 21, 2006). The marketing department is now headed by marketing and brand director Suzi Williams.

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