London, 15th July 2016 – Mark Evans, O2’s Chief Financial Officer, is to be appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica UK on 1 August 2016 and will also join the Telefónica SA Executive Committee. Ronan Dunne, who has been Chief Executive Officer since 1 January 2008, has confirmed his decision to leave the business and step down from the UK Board and Telefónica SA Executive committee, as indicated last September.
The news follows Dunne’s successful completion of a strategic review of options for the UK business, which led to Telefónica’s confirmation that Telefónica UK will be reconsolidated within the Telefónica SA group. He will step down from the Board on 31 July, but continue to support the business with its strategic ambitions until September 2016.
Mark Evans joined O2 in January 2012 as CFO and has since achieved sustained financial performance and industry-leading customer retention for the company, despite changing market conditions. His most notable success has been to allow for O2 customers to benefit from industry-leading flexible contracts, which are automatically reduced once the cost of the handset has been settled.
Evans also oversees the running of the successful giffgaff brand, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica, and is Chairman of Tesco Mobile and Non-Executive Director at Hiscox. He previously held senior leadership roles across the mobile industry for more than ten years, including Global Technology CFO, UK CFO and Ireland CFO for Vodafone Group as well as Chief Financial Controller for ntl.
José María Álvarez-Pallete, Executive Chairman of Telefónica SA said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Evans as CEO of Telefónica UK. Mark’s contribution as CFO has been instrumental in delivering revenue and profit growth over the last four years and I know the business will be in good hands with him as leader.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ronan for his outstanding leadership, dedication and achievements not only as O2’s longest serving CEO but his support and contribution as a member of the group executive to Telefónica’s transformation journey. He has led the O2 brand to achieve great things on behalf of its customers, employees and shareholders and built a team of talent to be proud of. I wish him all the best for the future.”
Mark Evans said: “I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead O2 through its next chapter. O2 has a track record in redefining itself to keep pace with technology change and customer demand, and has an enormous amount to offer within the evolving telecoms market. I’m very much looking forward to maintaining the momentum in the business and striving to make our customers the most satisfied in the UK, long into the future.”
Dunne is the UK telecommunications industry’s longest serving CEO and is also a member of Telefónica’s SA Executive Committee. His 15-year tenure at O2 has seen him grow the customer numbers from 18 to 25 million and evolve the award winning O2 brand to be one of the most trusted in the UK – it is consistently found by Ofcom to have the most satisfied and loyal customers in the industry.
Dunne spearheaded the creation of O2’s celebrated Think Big sustainability programme, is a Trustee of Step up to Serve, on the Board of Tech Partnership and is a Counsellor of One Young World. Dunne was also recently named CEO of the Year for his outstanding leadership in 2015, making O2 “impossible to ignore” and dedicating 20 percent of his time to campaigning and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Ronan Dunne said: “The decision to reconsolidate Telefónica UK represents an important and positive milestone for the business and marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for O2.
“O2 is a very special brand and business, which has made this an incredibly difficult decision to make. We have built an outstanding team to take the business forward and in Mark, Telefónica has chosen a colleague and leader with outstanding commercial acumen and a drive to win. I wish him, O2 and Telefónica every continued success.”