After seven years at Talk Talk, Dido Harding will be replaced in May by current managing director of consumer Tristia Harrison, the quadruple play service provider has announced.
TalkTalk founder Charles Dunstone will become executive chairman after he steps down as chairman of Dixons Carphone.
While Harding is being tipped for a government job, TalkTalk shares rose sharply on news of the move, after months of falls following a high-profile cyber-attack in October 2015. The data breach is said to have affected 160,000 customers, and cost Talk Talk £42m and 110,000 customers.
The firm was also fined a record £400,000 for poor website security which led to the data theft, the largest ever fine imposed by The Information Commissioner's Office. Harding said: 'After seven extraordinary and fulfilling years, during which we have transformed TalkTalk's customer experience and laid the foundations for long-term growth, I've decided it's time for me to start handing over the reins at TalkTalk and focus more on my activities in public service.
'I am very proud to be handing over to the next generation of TalkTalk leadership who, together with Charles, have played such an integral part in the success of the business to date.
'Between now and May, we will work together on a handover that maintains focus on this year's performance and enables the new team to prepare for the next financial year and beyond.'
Harding is credited with having improved Talk Talk’s customer service issues after it was spun off from Carphone Warehouse in 2010, but controversially, was paid £2.81million in 2015 despite the cyber-attack.
Tristia Harrison, whose husband Andrew is deputy chief executive of Dixons Carphone, joined The Carphone Warehouse Group in 2000, and has held a number of senior management and executive positions in the TalkTalk Group.
Charles Dunstone, who owns a 31 per cent stake in TalkTalk, will step up from chairman to executive chairman, while Charles Bligh, managing director of TalkTalk Business, will become chief operating officer.