With not one but two of the industry’s biggest figures making an exit in the coming months, it seems the industry might become somewhat quieter.
Last week, we received the news that Three CEO Kevin Russell is leaving the operator to return to Australia. As if that wasn’t enough, Mobile received an anonymous tip off this morning that sales and marketing director Marc Allera will also exit in the coming months, and his role will be split.
Until his exit in December, he will take on the role of CCO, working alongside incoming CEO Dave Dyson and guiding his replacements, marketing director Tom Malleschitz and sales director Amanda Lambert.
Allera says: ‘I’ve been at Three for 10 years now and I genuinely feel it’s time to move on. Our sales levels are at the highest level they have ever been.
And Allera may move abroad to pursue opportunities. He says: ‘Our kids are young enough for international opportunities and I am excited about what I am going to do. I haven’t thought about which countries yet.’
He adds: 'Until December, I’ll be doing a couple of things – making sure Amanda (Lambert) and Tom (Malleschitz) settle into their roles. There is also a bunch of stuff such as supporting Dave (Dyson) in his new role.’
Allera says he decided to split the sales and marketing functions because the network ‘is in a new phase of Three’s development’ and he feels ‘the time is right to have someone focused entirely on sales and another on marketing'.
He adds: ‘As the company grows there will be an evolution in our marketing capability. As our base grows to five, six to 10 million there will be some changes in what we need. We will get very focused on what we want to do. My role was very broad – devices, commercial, products and brand communications.’
And Allera, who is at number 13 on Mobile’s Power 50 list, can now safely be called something he would probably hate: ‘An industry veteran’.
His sales background has given him a pragmatism to marketing allied with a ruthless insight into what consumers care about. Three's rebranding under Allera's leadership saw the network forge a reputation as ‘The Smartphone Network’, with fewer but clearer tariffs. It is also the only network to offer unlimited data and a tighter handset range.
Allera has reshaped how Three is presented, trying to move away from being the cheapest in town on voice calls – an area it struggled to do because of the heavy termination call fees it incurs – and move towards the internet.
Allera says his greatest achievement has been Three’s growth – and ‘taking Three from no customers to five million’. He adds: ‘And we have the best direct sales organisation in the industry. Ours are the most productive in the market.’
And Allera will certainly leave Three having made a difference. His influence within Three will be hard to replace and he will be sorely missed by his colleagues as well as the wider industry.