Mercury Communications marketing director Simon Esberger is poised to quit the company after withdrawing from the race to take the top marketing role at soon-to-be-launched Cable & Wireless Communications.
As a result, Bell Cablemedia executive director of marketing Ruth Blakemore is emerging as the favourite to take the top job at C&WC – the product of a merger between Mercury, Bell Cablemedia and Nynex Cable Comms.
The company will be formally floated in May and is expected to be valued at 5bn. Blakemore was previously at the Virgin Group.
“I have told Cable & Wireless (Mercury’s parent) that I do not want to be considered for the C&WC job,” says Esberger, “but I have not resigned from Mercury. I will probably not join C&WC but there are other opportunities within Cable & Wireless.”
However, a Mercury source says Esberger will leave the group. It is believed he did not apply for the C&WC job after realising that some marketing, and all budgetary powers, will be given to individual C&WC business units and thereby effectively reduce the strength of the centralised marketing role (MW March 14).