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Virgin Mobile CEO quits after ntl Telewest deal

# 16 May 2006, 20:23 by Frank

Virgin Mobile announced today that Tom Alexander, founder and Chief Executive of Virgin Mobile, has decided to leave the company following its acquisition by ntl Telewest. Virgin Mobile also intends to retain Alexander in an advisory role as a consultant for the rest of the year.

Mr Alexander, who created the concept of the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), or a virtual mobile service piggybacking on other mobile networks, said he had made the decision recently.

ntl Telewest had been hoping that Mr Alexander and his management team would stay on following the completion of the deal, but that appears very unlikely now. However, current Virgin Mobile CFO Alan Gow, will become the managing director when Virgin Mobile becomes a division of ntl in July. Co-founder Joe Steel, the current commercial director, will also stay at the business as commercial director and deputy managing director. James Kydd, Virgin Mobile’s brand director, will become the cable group’s overall chief marketing officer, as we reported last week.

Non-executive chairman Charles Gurassa and the rest of the board’s non-executive directors, which include former BBC Worldwide boss Rupert Gavin and the Chrysalis chief executive Richard Huntingford, will also leave following completition of the ntl Telewest deal on July 4, 2006.

Mr Alexander indicated that ntl Telewest had tried to persuade him to stay, saying “I have had loads and loads of discussions [with ntl]. I invented the business. It’s stamped with my personality.”

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