12/30/2010 9:27:00 AM
Power 50 Profile: Tom Alexander, CEO, Everything Everywhere
Despite recent reference to Everything Everywhere as a ‘big clunky beast’, a lot has been going on behind the scenes in the last few months. The joint venture didn’t take shape until January this year. And much of Alexander’s time during this period has been internally focused – he isn’t spending time with the vendors. Instead, Alexander’s vision involves looking to the future and to other industries. To turn T-Mobile around requires a major investment. Alexander has been looking outside the traditional operator routes to make money. He has been able to grow business since his Virgin days and his influence remains strong, as does his sense of experiment and enthusiasm for trying new areas. Some of them will work and some of them won’t, but Alexander is one of the few brave enough to try.
Alexander has transformed Orange since his arrival. His strategic vision has helped revive Orange former reputation as a fun and exciting brand. He has grown the business to reach seven million customers on contract in Q1 this year. The retail estate has been overhauled to rank among the best with clear messages, improved customer service and staff engagement. He has been bold in trialling stores within stores at HMV and Asda, and is currently looking at franchise stores.But the key achievement over the last 12 months, and the biggest event in the mobile industry for years, is the Orange-T-Mobile merger. Alexander had a reasonable influence over the merger and has certainly been the shaper of the new business in the post-merger world.
Internal morale and external expectations were sent skyward with the news that the ‘Crazy Gang’ were coming to Orange. Confidence grew immediately upon Alexander’s appointment and subsequent enlisting of other key former Virgin Mobile employees. Alexander has pulled a network sharing deal with Vodafone out of the fire after personally agreeing terms with Nick Read. He is lining up the troops to shake up the brand, expand on the high street and get serious about delivering great customer service.