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Charles Dunstone to Retake Control of TalkTalk

TalkTalk has announced that after seven years, Dido Harding has decided to step down as CEO of TalkTalk in May 2017. From May Charles Dunstone (Non-Executive Chairman) will assume the role of Executive Chairman after stepping down as Chairman of Dixons Carphone plc from 1st May 2017

Tristia Harrison (currently MD, TalkTalk Consumer) will succeed Dido Harding as CEO and Charles Bligh (currently MD, TalkTalk Business) will become Chief Operating Officer. Both Tristia Harrison and Charles Bligh have been on the Board of TalkTalk PLC since 2014 and worked for the Group for 7 and 5 years respectively.

Dido Harding commented,“After seven extraordinary and fulfilling years, during which we have transformed TalkTalk’s customer experience and laid the foundations for long term growth, I’ve decided it’s time for me to start handing over the reins at TalkTalk and focus more on my activities in public service. I am very proud to be handing over to the next generation of TalkTalk leadership who, together with Charles, have played such an integral part in the success of the business to date. Between now and May, we will work together on a handover that maintains focus on this years’ performance and enables the new team to prepare for the next financial year and beyond”

Charles Dunstone added, “Dido has been a tireless, energetic and effective force for good from the day she joined TalkTalk. As a result of her leadership and total commitment to all of us who work here and our customers, she has helped transform TalkTalk into a much stronger business. She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for the future.

I’m excited at the prospect of spending more time on TalkTalk, beginning with delivering another successful performance this year; and I am delighted to announce the promotion of Tristia and Charles to help me lead the business so that we continue to deliver successfully for our customers and our shareholders.”

The pressure must have become immense on Harding’s shoulders following a series of data hacking attacks that saw customer details being lost. More recently customer broadband router details were leaked and TalkTalk’s ‘no need to change your password’ respond being highly criticised.

For some time shares in TalkTalk have been steadily falling and were down 40% since the Brexit referendum. This morning their shares re-bounded by 6-8% on news of the management re-shuffle.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine