The power behind the T-Orange joint venture will lie very much in the UK and not with parent companies France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, Orange chief executive Tom Alexander insisted this week.
Speaking to Mobile, Alexander, who will become the joint venture's chief executive, dismissed the idea that the new company would be run from either Paris or Bonn.
'It is very much a UK operation, run from the UK, with Richard (Moat) and myself running it,' insisted Alexander.
Alexander said a decision on where the joint venture's headquarters will be located has yet to be made. Orange's headquarters are in West London, whilst T-Mobile's are in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
Richard Moat, T-Mobile md, who will be the jv's chief operating officer, scoffed at analyst speculation that he will move on, once both companies have been successfully integrated.
'My intention is to stay and help it become a great success,' he said.
The newly-merged entity will begin trading in
April but will not be formally launched to customers until later in the year. It will also continue using both companies' brands for at least the first year and a half.
Alexander said: ‘We will start trading as one from Spring, around April, but as
far as the consumer is concerned – we will run both brands separately for 18
months or even longer.’
Alexander said both companies had built up strong brands over the years that customers
identify with and that running them in parallel would give customers a sense of continuity.
However, to help link the two brands in customers' minds, the joint venture will launch an advertising
campaign later this year involving branding addendums.