O2 CEO Ronan Dunne will step down if CK Hutchison’s £10.2bn proposed merger of Three and O2 is approved.
O2 has confirmed Dunne’s departure, with the CEO throwing his support behind the pending merger, claiming ‘it will be good for competition in the UK market’.
Dunne explained that he will lead the company through the transition period and will then depart the company after leading O2 as CEO since 2008.
He said: ‘I believe that the proposed combination of O2 and Three will be good for competition in the UK market and, subsequently, the service offered to customers.
'I am committed to helping both leadership teams manage the successful creation of the new and exciting entity. In building the new organisation, it is essential that there is an unwavering focus on the benefit to our over 24million UK customers and the support of the outstanding talent serving the UK's mobile industry. I will be helping to guide the process with that front of mind.'
CK Hutchison have confirmed that the merged businesses will be led by current Three UK CEO David Dyson. The owners of Three are currently awaiting regulatory approval from the European Commission to complete its takeover of Telefonica’s O2, after finalising the deal earlier this year.
Canning Fok, co-chief executive of CK Hutchison, in comments to The Financial Times, said: ‘David Dyson is our leader here and so he will be the leader [of the new business].’
Fok also claimed there would be ‘a twist’ in the future of O2 and Three, explaining that CK Hutchison initially plan to continue to use both mobile brands in the UK.
He said: ‘You can assume that it might become Three. But there is a twist, we haven’t made the final decision yet. We have a certain time we can use O2. It’s a strong brand.’
CK Hutchison’s plans to merge O2 and Three would see the Hong Kong Group create the largest telecoms group in the UK, with its acquisition stoking competition concerns by rivals in the marketplace.
However, despite this Fok remained confident that the company would be able to come to an agreement with the regulator, explaining that CK Hutchison has completed similar deals in the past.