Virgin Media O2 promotes from within to lead marketing at merged business

Simon Groves takes on the director of brand and marketing role in the UK, following the departure of Cilesta Van Doorn and Nina Bibby who headed up marketing at the respective businesses prior to the merger.

Virgin Media O2 has appointed Simon Groves as director of brand and marketing, replacing former marketing heads Cilesta Van Doorn and Nina Bibby who both departed following the merger.

Groves has worked at O2 for more than 20 years, most recently as director of brand and marcoms, prior to which he was CMO at Tesco Mobile CMO for six years.

He has been tasked with leading the newly-merged company’s brand and marketing activities, including creative and campaigns, customer marketing, media, sponsorship and brand strategy.

His recent work for O2 includes the ‘Here Comes Brighter’ campaign and a collaboration with video game Fortnite Creative to hold a virtual gig with R&B group Easy Life at a virtual version of The O2. He will report to chief operating officer Jeff Dodds.

Commenting on his appointment, Groves says: “Virgin Media O2 is the product of two iconic brands coming together and we launched with a clear mission to upgrade the UK.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Jeff and the team to bring the benefits of the new combined business to life for our customers, while continuing our drumbeat of campaigns and initiatives for Virgin Media and O2 respectively.”

Virgin Media O2 launched as a joint brand on 1 June, combining their respective resources in broadband and mobile infrastructure. New joint services are currently in the pipeline and expected to launch soon.

Groves replaces former Virgin Media executive director of brand and marketing Cilesta Van Doorn and former O2 CMO Nina Bibby in the top marketing role.

Van Doorn, who joined Virgin Media in 2018, has taken up the CMO role radio and outdoor advertising giant Global. Her last campaign for Virgin Media was the ‘Faster Brings Us Closer’ campaign.

Prior to Virgin, Van Doorn spent 12 years at Netherlands-based telecommunications business Tele2, latterly as managing director of marketing, brand and communications.

Meanwhile, Nina Bibby stepped down after almost eight years as CMO at O2 on news of the merger.

Bibby has yet to confirm her next move, but at the time of her departure told Marketing Week her team’s ability to drive commercial growth while delivering for customers was one of her proudest achievements.



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