O2 CMO to step down if Virgin merger gets go-ahead

O2’s top marketer Nina Bibby will leave the business if the proposed merger between the Telefónia-owned brand and Virgin Media goes ahead.

O2Nina Bibby will step down as CMO at O2 if the telecoms company’s proposed merger with Virgin Media gains final approval.

Bibby joined O2 in 2013 from her role as global CMO at Barclaycard, taking responsibility for the O2 brand, marketing communications, innovation, sponsorship, data and analytics, as well as customer value management, product, proposition, pricing and global device/service partnerships.

Reflecting on her eight years at the company, Bibby credits her team for growing the customer base to become the number one network for connections and achieving the company’s highest NPS scores.

She also highlights the focus on existing customers and the fact they are treated “like they are in a hotel, not a prison” which has led to reduced churn, as well as pointing to the impact of partnerships with the RFU, Live Nation, AEG and Disney.

“Marketing is about growth. It is about orchestrating the end-to-end customer experience, ensuring that, based on deep insight into customer needs, the right proposition is delivered at the right price, all communicated in a relevant and inspiring manner to build lasting brand equity and affinity,” she says.

“It is about creating value for the customer and, in turn, for the shareholder. It is about attracting more customers and encouraging them to stay loyal and buy more of your products or services, treating them like they are in a hotel, not a prison. It is about growing the top line and the bottom line. It is both about creating demand and then exceeding the expectations created.”

The £31bn merger between O2 and Virgin Media was given provisional approval by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this month. If it goes ahead it will bring together O2’s 34 million mobile network customers with Virgin Media’s 5.3 million broadband, pay-TV and mobile users creating a stronger competitor to BT.

It is about creating value for the customer and, in turn, for the shareholder.

Nina Bibby, O2

The proposal was first brought to the table last May when Virgin Media owner Liberty Global and O2 parent company Telefónica announced plans to merge their UK operations in a 50/50 joint venture.

The CMA launched its investigation into the merger in December to ensure it didn’t result in higher prices or reduced quality.

Last week, Lutz Schüler, the CEO of Virgin Media, was appointed to head up the new joint venture, while Patricia Cobian, who is currently chief financial officer at O2 will become CFO of the merged business. O2’s CEO Mark Evans is set to leave the business if the merger goes ahead.

Bibby says: “I wish everyone from both businesses every success in building on the plans to become the UK’s connectivity champion.

“It’s something UK customers truly deserve and I hope they’ll benefit from it for years to come. I am grateful to my team, to our agency partners and to the rest of the O2 leadership team for all of their support. My time at O2 has been a true privilege. However, [I] am not leaving just yet and in the meantime it is business as usual and my focus will remain on O2 and delivering for our customers.”



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