After Tom Alexander announced his resignation for 'personal reasons' today, the industry agreed that former Virgin mogul will leave behind a huge legacy at the joint venture.
And rumours are already rife regarding Alexander’s departure. The former Richard Branson aide handed in his notice on the day that tremors were felt after Met Police Chief Sir Paul Stephenson became the latest victim of the phone hacking scandal.
The timing is nothing but a coincidence, Alexander tells Mobile, laughing off industry gossip that he might have somehow been involved.
He says: ‘It had nothing to do with the hacking – it really is a personal thing and those who know me aren’t surprised.’
Alexander joined Orange in 2008 as CEO of the UK business. In fact, he had been enticed out of retirement by incoming CEO Olaf Swantee after setting up Virgin with Branson and reportedly pocketing £6m from the deal.
He then became CEO of Everything Everywhere when the company was officially formed on 1 July 2010 following the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK.
He says: ‘After Virgin Mobile I decided I wouldn’t come back [to the industry] – until Olaf convinced me to take over Orange, then the merger of Everything Everywhere – it’s great to say I have been there and done it and I’ve had a fantastic time.’
And Alexander achieved much after taking over Orange, revitalising its brand and overseeing its merger with T-Mobile in 2010. He can even be credited with bringing the T-Mobile brand back to the forefront, establishing it as a force to be reckoned with after it, like Orange before it, had started to flag.
Asked what his greatest achievement at Everything Everywhere has been, Alexander replies: ‘It’s been a huge integration, a massive business and the economy is tough but at the same time we have record low churn and very positive results are about to come out.
‘We have also brought the T-Mobile brand back, which I had previously done with the Orange brand. Orange is such an iconic brand and it was great pleasure to work on it.’
And perhaps this time it will be the last the industry will see of Alexander – but it can not be said his influence hasn’t been felt.