Speculation was mounting this week about the identity of O2’s new sales director, with Ben Dowd, currently general manager of business sales, the favourite to take the role vacated by Mark Stansfeld before Christmas.
Dowd is known to have been earmarked as a rising star within O2, a company that prides itself on promoting from within its ranks and developing its most talented individuals.
Dowd is credited for growing O2’s share of the business market, in an area dominated by Vodafone, during his two and a half years in the role.
An area of potential weakness for Dowd could be his relatively limited experience with big retailers such as Carphone Warehouse.
Stansfeld, who left after UK CEO Matthew Key took a European role, has also moved into a group role but as a non-executive director. Stansfeld had built a strong relationship with Carphone, which brought a substantial number of consumer connections to O2.
Others who are also expected to progress as new CEO UK Ronan Dunne puts together his sales team are Steven Shurrock and David Plumb.
Shurrock is currently head of consumer sales, while Plumb looks after the indirect channel.
A big challenge for the new sales director will be driving more connections through O2’s own stores. O2 has 450 stores, including franchises but, like other operators, has found it hard work to increase sales through its own shops. The company bought out The Link in June 2006, keeping 100 stores and splitting the remaining 200 amongst Orange, 3 and Carphone Warehouse.