Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is joining The People’s Operator MVNO as co-Chair.
The appointment of Wales as co-Chair of the EE MVNO comes ahead of TPO's planned launch in the United States this year.
Wales has taken a strategic stake in the business and will take a central and active role in the MVNO.
TPO said Wales' experience with Wikipedia has proven how communities can grow virally, adding that Wales expects similar viral growth as communities work together to support good causes across the globe. Driving 'the growth of a global community that connects as a force for good' will be one of Wales' key tasks as co-Chair of TPO.
The People’s Operator was launched in the UK in November 2012. It passes 10% of each customer’s bill directly to causes chosen by the customer. In addition, 25% of the Company’s profits go to the TPO Foundation, which distributes them to good causes.
Speaking at Digital Life Design 14 Conference (DLD14) in Munich, Jimmy Wales said:' TPO puts customers and the causes they care about first. With over 4 billion mobile phone subscribers forecast for 2016 worldwide, TPO has huge potential for viral growth and the more it grows, the more money will pass to the people and communities that need it.
'Only a small percentage in global take up will make a massive difference to people’s lives. Just as Wikipedia grew virally as communities wanted to work together to liberate knowledge, so I believe TPO will grow in a similar way as communities work together to support good causes across the globe.'
Andrew Rosenfeld, founder and Co-chair of TPO, said: 'The TPO philosophy is to share its success with those who really need it. Donating to good causes through commercial success, and empowering the customer is an idea whose time has now come. This is why I'm so excited that Jimmy, who used the power of communities to change the world, is taking the lead at TPO to do the same again.'