5/13/2009 2:01:00 PM
New UK chief for Lebara Mobile as it doubles turnover in 12 months
Lebara Mobile has made two high profile appointments – a UK managing director and a group chief marketing officer – to meet its ambitious growth targets.
New CMO James Condon (pictured, near left) recently arrived from Tesco after quitting his position as group head of brand and trade planning at the retailer in September 2008.
He joined Tesco in January 2007 after being head of marketing at Asda’s clothing range, George, for four years.
New UK managing director Russell Atkinson (pictured, far left) joins with a pedigree in prepaid credit card businesses. He was CEO of credEcard and prior to that, managing director of Blackhawk.
Atkinson’s predecessor, Rob Gaskin, left before Christmas after a conflict of ideas with group CEO Yoganathan Ratheesan and COO Tim Wort on company strategy.
Atkinson joined in April as the Lebara group of eight countries revealed a 96% increase in its annual turnover over the last 12 months, and an 86% improvement on its customer base.
Wort said: ‘We are building core, organic growth at a very exciting rate in spite of the current market conditions. Clearly, while we are doing that we need to build the team.’
The UK unit is one of Lebara’s most important markets, with over one million customers. Wort and Ratheesan want to continue with the company’s forte of prepay Sim cards, rather than experiment with contracts and
Lebara is looking at national expansion beyond London, with dedicated sales teams in areas such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
The virtual network, which specialises in low-cost overseas calls, is also looking to build its customer base with a viral strategy.
It has been offering free calls and texts between Lebara customers, taking advantage of the lack of termination fees incurred by its wholesale partner, Vodafone, when calling people on the same network.