Hawkins takes charge of PR for Genie's O2 rebrand

Mobile internet portal Genie has appointed Andy Hawkins as

vice-president of global marketing with a brief to oversee PR during the

current O2 rebranding campaign.



Genie, which has 5.5 million registered uses, is being renamed O2 to

coincide with the rebranding of its parent company BT Wireless as

mmO2.



Hawkins moves up from the position of Genie head of marketing strategy

to replace Will Harris, who was recently promoted to V-P of marketing at

mmO2.



In the new role, Hawkins will handle Genie's PR globally alongside

global PR manager Kevin Caruth, to whom he reports.



Hawkins said: 'It is business as usual for Genie but the key challenge

during the next six months is that we need to ensure that the transition

from Genie to O2 for customers and for other stakeholders is as smooth

as possible.



'We will be managing it by identifying what we need to communicate and

the best way to disseminate that information globally.'



He added: 'The number one priority is making sure the communication to

the customer is right so that they understand what is happening and

when.'



Aside from PR, Hawkins' role will include customer-relationship

marketing, marketing strategy and planning.



He will report to chief operating officer Steve Davies and will work

with Caruth and Edelman PR Worldwide, which is the retained agency for

corporate and global activity.



Davies said: 'Andy will play a key role in growing Genie, underlining

mmO2's commitment to WAP, GPRS and 3G as these new technologies roll

out.'



Prior to joining BT as head of marketing strategy for the fixed-line

business, Hawkins spent eight years in management consultancy,

specialising in the telecoms sector.



Last week mmO2, handed its two top PR posts to former TI Group PR chief

Richard Poston and ex-Sainsbury's investor relations head David Boyd

(PRWeek, 14 September).



Poston takes on the post of director of communications and Boyd joins as

head of IR.



The former BT Wireless brand is currently demerging and spinning off

from parent group British Telecommunications.



Genie comprises web and WAP portals in the UK, The Netherlands, Germany,

Italy, Spain, France and Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and a WAP portal in

Malaysia.



Its global business partners include Logica, Looksmart, Siemens and

Palm.



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