Telefónica is to merge the operations of its two global devices teams, based in Slough and Madrid, under the leadership of Marieta Rivero (pictured), general manager of devices at Telefónica Global Resources, in Madrid.
The UK global devices team will no longer be led by Simon Lee-Smith, who is ‘looking at new opportunities in Telefónica’, according to a Telefónica spokesman. It will remain in O2’s Slough headquarters but will report directly to Telefónica Global Resources in Madrid, rather than to Telefónica Digital in the UK.
The merger is part of a wider strategy launched last year to leverage Telefónica’s global procurement muscle in a bid to cut costs. The telecoms giant also aims to slash its global handset portfolio. Previously the team under Telefónica Digital was responsible for developing handset strategy in partnership with its operators across various countries, as well as negotiations with manufacturers. The Global Resources team was in charge of the procurement process.
The spokesman said: ‘We have decided to create one global devices team, giving manufacturers one point of contact. It was decided that global handset procurement fits better within Telefónica Global Resources than with Telefónica Digital, which is about all things digital.’ He added: ‘This is part of an ongoing process to streamline the organisation. We spend a lot of money on handsets and we want to get the costs down. We range more than 250 handsets, which is too many, and we want to streamline that to 100 globally. It’s all about making the best of our scale, how we can work as a global company and how we can become a lot more efficient.’
The spokesman said no redundancies were planned following the restructuring, and pointed to plans to recruit a new head of vendor management as evidence the team was expanding. Danny Hernandez, head of global portfolio, will take on the new role in the interim.The restructuring does not affect O2 UK’s devices team. The UK devices team, which is responsible for deciding which devices to order for O2 UK, will continue to report to the UK marketing director Sally Cowdry.
Telefónica Global Resources, a global business unit of Telefónica, was formed at the same time as Telefónica Digital in September last year, as part of a wider strategy to allow Telefónica to leverage its global scale.
Telefónica Global Resources has a brief to drive profit by leveraging and unlocking economies of scale. Telefónica Digital, which is headquartered in London and headed up by Matthew Key, is tasked with carving out a share in the digital market as part of a strategy to take the business beyond mobile.
Editor: Carol Millett