Tech Data Mobile UK and Ireland VP Jim Michel, who is set to leave the company due to personal reasons, is planning to return to the UK mobile industry in the near future, Mobile understands.
Sources said Michel plans to come back to the UK telecoms industry once he has resolved some personal issues concerning the return of his elderly mother to the UK from St Lucia. Michel felt he needed time to settle his mother in the UK and find a suitable place for her to live, sources added.
Michel’s decision to leave Tech Data Mobile, exclusively revealed by Mobile last week, sees Stephen Nolan, Tech Data Mobile Europe’s vice-president, take over Michel’s role. Nolan joined Tech Data Mobile in February this year.
Michel will continue at the company for a few months to help Nolan ease into the role. He is expected to leave in the early summer.
Industry players expressed shock at the news of Michel’s departure. One manufacturer chief said: ‘What Jim doesn’t know about the mobile industry isn’t worth knowing. I hope he will be back as losing his experience would be a great shame.’
Another manufacturer said: ‘I am sure he will be back. He is a great guy. I for one would love to take him on if he does intend to return to the industry.’
Another industry source said: ‘He is an all round good guy who knows the business inside out.’
Michel has been tipped for a number of roles on his return. Sources speculated Michel will be taken on by HTC to replace former chief Phil Roberson, whilst others speculate he could land up at 20:20 Mobile if its sale to Brightstar goes through.
Michel has worked in the mobile industry for over 14 years, joining Tech Data Corp in September 2011 as UK and Ireland MD of Brightstar Europe, the joint venture between Tech Data Corp and Brightstar.
Previous to joining Brightstar Europe, Michel held the role of LG’s UK head of mobile. He also worked at Motorola for four years, rising to head the UK division before leaving in 2008. He joined Motorola from T-Mobile.
Michel and Nolan worked together at Motorola for some years. Nolan joined Motorola’s South African division in 1999 as marketing director, rising to the role of MD in 2003. In August 2006 he moved to the UK to take on the role of general manager of Motorola Mobility’s Western Europe country managers. Nolan became VP and general manager of Motorola Europe in 2010, holding the post until February this year when he joined Tech Data Mobile. Nolan is a respected figure in the mobile industry with strong relationships with both operators and retailers.
Parent company Computer 2000 and Jim Michel declined to comment.
Author: Carol Millett