PRWeek has learned that Davies left his position on 1 March to move to a new role at Three offering corporate comms advice more broadly across the group. Middleton has also left the business after almost eight years with Three.
Three’s corporate comms team, including corporate PR and public affairs, now reports to Justin Bass, Three’s director of legal for marketing, consumer and sales.
In addition, Three’s corporate PR team now reports to Nick Carter, who has been promoted to head of corporate comms, having previously been lead corporate and financial comms manager.
News of the changes comes one day after Three’s owner Hutchison reached an agreement with Telefónica to acquire O2 UK in a £9.23bn deal, which will create the country’s biggest mobile operator.
However, it is understood that the timings are not specifically linked to that deal, with Davies choosing to step down earlier this year.
It also follows a recent trend among some industries and companies, including alcohol producers such as SABMiller, to give internal legal departments overall control of certain comms functions amid increasing regulatory pressures.
However, it is understood that the reason to give Bass overall control of corporate comms was not linked to expected regulatory challenges associated with the O2 deal, but because of an overlap between the two functions concerning areas such as dealing with customer complaints.
Three’s public affairs team will continue to be led by Simon Miller, head of government and regulatory engagement. The consumer PR team, headed by head of PR and social media Georgie Carter, is unaffected by the changes.