Power 50 Profile: Graeme Oxby, director of mobile and home phone, Virgin Media
Mobile has shot up in importance at Virgin Media, largely due to the work of Oxby to make mobile a differentiated and compelling proposition in Virgin’s pick-and-mix bag of telecoms and media products. Through prepay and contract, Oxby has got 12% of the Virgin Media base signed up to Virgin Mobile, and the plans are now in place to integrate Virgin’s TV business with mobile. Oxby, a fully qualified pilot, has made a career out of surprising people. He has long argued the case for a multi-play proposition to what is still seen by many as Tomorrow's World future-gazing. It makes Virgin a radically different MVNO to the traditional field of low-cost players that occupy the space. He has talked for some time about the customer experience he was aiming for and its success will have implications for rivals, manufacturers and the likes of Google and Sky. Virgin – under the direction of Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett and Oxby – is now gearing up to deliver a multi-screen experience a million miles away from its background of £20 non-branded phones in non-specialist stores.
Oxby has overseen Virgin’s quad play offering of TV, fixed line, broadband and mobile, with Virgin the first company to really make it work.Content has been key in driving the growth, while Oxby used the company’s broadband customers to market the service to. The proof is in the numbers – 10% Virgin’s customer base is now quad play– 50% up on 2008. 59% of its total customer base take fixed line, broadband and TV. Oxby has also overhauled the image of Virgin Mobile –repositioning it from a cheap and cheerful prepay operator to contracts as a result of revamping all its contract tariffs.This helped to drive customers even more to quad play, as Oxby looks to target entire families with the Virgin’s offering.