Alexander leaving Everything Everywhere: new man Swantee has previous
Tom Alexander, former CEO of Orange UK, is stepping aside as CEO of Everything Everywhere (EE) for "personal reasons". He will leave at the end of August. Orange has gone for the experienced Olaf Swantee, a board member of EE since its inception in September 2009, as his replacement.
Swantee is currently head of operations (except France) and sourcing for France Telecom. That role may sound dry and of limited strategic importance, but it has seen him spearhead Orange's combined services and sourcing strategy - the Procurement Alliance - with Deutsche Telekom.
Not only is that strategy a key factor in controlling group operating costs, but it involves co-ordinating co-operation between the same two group entities represented within EE.
Swantee's background at Orange includes a spell as senior VP of its global mobile business, as well as time served as Senior Executive Vice President of the Orange Group's mobile services in the UK & EME. It was in the latter capacity that he was responsible for hiring Alexander as Orange UK's CEO in 2007. Alexander reported directly to Swantee at the time. Now Swantee steps into the role that Alexander has vacated at EE.
Although his appointment comes as a surprise, and could be seen as a backwards step for him from his Group role, Swantee certainly has a deep knowledge of Orange's mobile businesses, has been involved in key strategic decisions, has experience of dealing with T-Mobile and DT.
A press release from Orange said that Swantee had, "successfully transformed Orange throughout Europe". The statement also claimed that he was, "instrumental in the Orange UK turnaround [since 2007]."