Comms team shake-up at buoyant Vodafone

Mobile brand Vodafone has re-jigged its corporate comms as it celebrates a successful half-year.

Chris Burgess becomes corporate responsibility dir­ector, stepping up from his role as head of strategy and planning for the group corporate affairs team. Burgess will keep his remit for reputation management in the group. He replaces Charlotte Grezo who has moved to a senior comms role at Lehman Brothers.

Ayleen Thompson, who heads the consumer, enterprise and brand PR team, will take on responsibility for new media, intranet and corporate internet PR.

Vodafone’s comms team of 60 is headed by group director of corporate affairs Simon Lewis.

After a tough year, Vodafone is more optimistic about its prospects. The British firm raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts earlier this month and shares jumped in value. As it announced its first-half res­ults, Vodafone said it was raising its revenue forecasts by about £1bn to more than £34.5bn. The company’s chief executive Arun Sarin, who won the PRCA’s business communicator of the year award last week (PRWeek, 23 November), said there had been strong growth in revenue from emerging markets.

Separately... Vodafone head of group media relations Ben Padovan is mov­ing to Egypt for a year on secondment as Vodafone Egypt’s director of corporate affairs. Simon Gordon, who joined from rival O2 in the summer (PRWeek, 13 July), will cover Padovan’s role ‘on a temporary basis’, said Lewis. Egypt is the reg­ion where Vodafone has exp­erienced steepest growth.

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