Bill Morrow announced as CEO of Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
Hutchison Whampoa Group MD Canning Fok takes over as Chairman of VHA
Vodafone Group and Hutchison Whampoa today announced the appointment of Bill Morrow as the Chief Executive of the two companies' joint venture, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA).
In addition, the two shareholders announced today that, in line with their JV agreement and three years after the Vodafone Hutchison Australia merger, the role of VHA Chairman will now rotate to the Hutchison Whampoa Group Managing Director, Canning Fok.
Bill Morrow is one of the global telecommunications industry's most experienced executives. He is the former Chief Executive of Clearwire Incorporated and was previously Chief Executive of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He is a former Europe Chief Executive with Vodafone Group and has run the Group's businesses in Japan and the UK.
The current VHA Chief Executive, Nigel Dews, is to take up a senior role within Hutchison Whampoa reporting to Group Managing Director, Canning Fok, the details of which will be announced in due course. Nigel Dews has been the Chief Executive of VHA since the merger in 2009 and was previously the Chief Executive of 3 Australia. He joined 3 Australia in 2003 as the Sales, Marketing and Product Director.
Vodafone Group and Hutchison Whampoa also reiterated their long-term commitment to VHA as the business continues to make good progress in a number of areas.
Network: a new 850MHz 3G network built for wireless data, with more than 1,000 sites already live - expected to rise to 1,500 by Q3 2012 - and single Radio Access Network equipment already replaced across more than half of the network. More than $1 billion has been invested in the network since the merger, with further substantial investments planned. This has already led to a 29% reduction in dropped calls year-on-year, and wireless data session set-up rates are now consistently above 99%.
Customer service: substantial investment in customer support, including 24/7 Care, a market-leading customer call-back service, extended support times for support via Twitter and Facebook, a new online customer forum, a new smartphone self-care application, and new in-store customer service initiatives.
Merger synergies: synergies from the merger of the 3 and Vodafone businesses now exceed the target of $2 billion net present value (NPV) announced at the time of the merger.
Financing for growth: the completion of refinancing arrangements, supported by both shareholders, including a five-year $1.7 billion loan facility to fund spectrum licence renewal and network investment including plans to invest in 4G mobile services.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific, Nick Read, said: "We are strongly committed to Australia. We'll continue to back our business here as it makes the significant investments needed to build the network of the future. Bill is an outstanding industry leader and is well-placed to drive growth. I would also like to thank Nigel for his energy and commitment in leading the complex task of executing the merger of our businesses under the Vodafone brand, and wish him well for the future."
Hutchison Whampoa Group Finance Director, Frank Sixt, said: "Vodafone Hutchison Australia is an important part of our global telecommunications portfolio. Bill is a widely respected industry veteran, and we are delighted to welcome him to VHA. We are also grateful to Nigel for his work in bringing together the 3 and Vodafone businesses in Australia and forging them into a strong and healthy organisation which we have every confidence will continue to grow and succeed under Bill's leadership. We also look forward to continuing to work with Nigel in his new role at Hutchison Whampoa."
VHA Chief Executive Nigel Dews said: "It has been a privilege to lead Vodafone Hutchison Australia, but after nine years in this business, five of them as Chief Executive, it's now time for a change. As I turn to my next challenge, I am confident that I leave behind an excellent team that will flourish under Bill's leadership."
VHA Chief Executive-designate Bill Morrow said: "Vodafone Hutchison Australia is a business with a great future. I am excited by the prospect of joining a strong team. I'm also committed to meeting, and listening to, our customers to understand their needs, now and over the years ahead."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Vodafone Hutchison Australia
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) operates the Vodafone, 3, and Crazy John’s brands. Formed in June 2009 following a merger between Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, VHA provides mobile services to over 7.0 million customers in Australia. www.vodafone.com.au & www.three.com.au