Three CEO Kevin Russell will leave the operator at the end of this month after four years at the helm, Mobile can reveal.
He will be replaced by COO Dave Dyson, who will take on the role of Three UK CEO on 1 July.
Russell is planning a return to Australia with his family, where he will take a six-month sabbatical from work.
Russell became CEO of Three UK in 2007. During his time in the UK, he focused on restructuring the business and moving it into profit on a sustainable basis, a goal reached during 2010. Three UK is now growing strongly based on the strength of its high-speed data network.
Russell has been instrumental in shaping the operator as a force to be reckoned with in the market. He brokered Three's network share deal with T-Mobile, MBNL – which has now expanded to Everything Everywhere – and spent a huge amount of time on the fundamentals of customer service at Three.
Russell has punched way above Three’s weight in the market, particularly in front of the regulator and the consumer, winning the right fights such as termination rates, number portability, spectrum and positioning the business around data.
Russell won Mobile’s Power 50 'Person of the Year' accolade in 2008.
Dyson joined Three UK as CFO in 2006 from Three Group’s Australian business, now Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), where he was also CFO. Prior to that, he worked in the Group’s Swedish business as Deputy CFO. He became COO of Three UK in 2009.
Working closely with Russell for the past nine years, first in Australia and then in the UK, Dyson has played a pivotal role in turning Three UK’s business around. He has supported Russell in Three UK’s transformation into a provider of data services for the rapidly growing mobile broadband and smartphone markets.
Russell said: ‘This is a good succession plan for Three UK. Dave has a great track record working across Hutchison’s 3G businesses. He has been a key member of my team and I have enjoyed working with him immensely.'
Dyson said: ‘Kevin has put a tremendous amount of energy into putting our UK business on a sound footing. His clear and decisive leadership has had a significant impact at Three and throughout the mobile communications sector.
'I know everyone at Three will join me in thanking him for all he has done to put our business firmly and positively on the map. We are in a very strong position and I am looking forward to building on the growth we are now seeing.'