Vodafone raids Orange for internal comms chief

Vodafone has poached Kate Haddon from rival Orange to head its internal communications in the UK.

Haddon started at Vodafone this week, leading an  eight strong team and reporting to head of UK corporate comms Anna Cloke. Her brief is to ensure the mobile operator's 11,000 UK staff are engaged and involved in all of Vodafone's activities.

The mobile operator's internal comms channels include company magazine Voice and a 'Week In Comms' section on the intranet, where product launches, appointments, CSR initiatives and other news are updated.

The company bills itself internally as 'red, rock-solid and restless', a statement it says signifies a 'passionate, reliable company, always challenging itself to improve service to customers'. A key theme of internal comms will be encouraging employees to aspire to that 'brand essence'.

Haddon will also have responsibility for keeping staff informed of any office closures, such as this month's shutting of a call centre in Birmingham, which involved the relocation of a number of jobs.

Haddon worked at Orange for six years, latterly as head
of UK internal comms. She has been on gardening since December.

It has also emerged that Orange joined its two internal comms departments – formerly called internal communications and employee engagement – into one around the same time as Haddon left, meaning she will not be replaced. Orange explained the merger as owing to 'a realignment of business objectives'.

Haddon reported to Orange UK V-P of business support Steve Aumayer, who now has overall responsibility for the new department, called employee communications and engagement.

Freelancer Sarah Hale headed Vodafone UK's internal communications on an interim basis for around a year, after the previous head of internal comms Annette Ware was promoted internally to head of brand engagement and communications for the UK.

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