INTERNATIONAL: Vodafone hires Romero for Madrid position

MADRID: UK mobile phone giant Vodafone has hired Jose Romero to lead its communications department in Madrid.

Vodafone spokeswoman Corinne Norris - who has been acting as interim communications director during recruitment - said Romero joined this month and is responsible for leading a six-strong PR department.

Romero's remit covers a broad communications and PR brief for the group's operations in Spain.

'We've been looking for a communications director for a while and after a number of interviews he's coming on board,' Norris said.

'We wanted somebody who was appropriate and had the necessary skills and experience for the job.'

Romero formerly worked for eight years as head of Microsoft Spain's communications department and spent a number of years in a similar post at technology rival IBM.

The comms post was formerly held by Pilar Llado, who left Vodafone last summer to launch her own PR agency.

Norris said that she will remain in post for a handover period - working alongside Romero - for a period of around three months.

As PR chief, Romero reports to Vodafone Spain chief executive Francisco Roman, who was recently appointed to replace John de Wit.

Roman took over the CEO post after the group bought the remaining shares held in Vodafone by defunct Spanish mobile operator Airtel, taking full control of the Madrid-based company.

Both appointments follow a period of high-profile operational problems across Vodafone's Spanish network.

The carrier faced a crisis last month after a network failure left around eight million people off the mobile airwaves.

It faces the threat of multi-million pound fines and lawsuits as the government and consumer organisations consider taking legal action.

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