Watch out, John Legere, your new competition at Verizon Wireless is a Twitter-worthy Brit.
Verizon is reorganizing at the top, and on Tuesday added a very experienced hand in Ronan Dunne, CEO of British wireless carrier Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) for the last nine years. (See Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo, Verizon Bags XO for $1.8B and Verizon Buys Big Into IoT With $2.4B Fleetmatics Deal.)
Given the pace at which Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is buying and attempting to absorb major properties -- Yahoo, XO Communications, and Fleetmatics in the last several months -- the need for more executive talent isn't surprising.
With Dunne's arrival at the top of Verizon Wireless, David Small moves over to head Verizon's global wired network operations, replacing Bob Mudge, who will now oversee the integration of XO and Verizon's Fios buildout in Boston. (See Verizon Throws Surprise FiOS Party for Boston.)
As noted in this Fortune article, Dunne comes to Verizon with a track record of growing a wireless business and a reputation for being consumer-friendly. Like T-Mobile CEO Legere, Dunne was active on Twitter and claimed to personally read every customer email.
"To me social media is the digital equivalent of walking the shop floor," Dunne told the Irish Times in January. "I get to engage with customers."
He apparently hung in there when that engagement got hard -- during a 2012 O2 network outage that took out 17.9 million customers for 19 hours -- and customers were angry to the point of being abusive.
Dunne, whose background is in accounting, is also credited with growing the O2 business to 25 million customers from 18 million when he took office. He stepped down as CEO after European Union regulators blocked O2's acquisition by the Hutchinson Group. He had planned to leave after the merger. (See Eurobites: EU vetoes O2/3 combo.)
According to the Financial Times (subscription required), Dunne was pondering a move to a US telecom at the time he left O2 and that apparently was the move he is now making.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading