Exclusive: Tesco Mobile CEO to depart

Anthony Vollmer is to step down as CEO of Tesco Mobile after three years and nine months at the helm of one of the UK’s largest MVNOs, with under a week until his last day – the second of May.

Sources from within Tesco Mobile got in touch with Mobile Magazine to state that an internal announcement revealing his departure was circulated via internal email on 19 April.

A spokesperson from Tesco Mobile told Mobile, 'After nearly six years with us, Anthony Vollmer has decided to leave Tesco. Anthony joined in 2011 and was promoted to CEO of Telecoms and Tesco Mobile in 2013.'

Replacing Vollmer is Claire Lorains who is to move over from her previous role as Tesco's category director for meat, fish, poultry and eggs. A Tesco Mobile spokesperson described the promotion stating,'We’re very pleased to announce the appointment of Claire Lorains to CEO Telecoms and Tesco Mobile, starting 2 May. Claire joined us in 2002 on the insight graduate scheme and following roles in Marketing and Tesco dotcom, moved to Product in 2007. Claire has contributed hugely to Product over many years and we are delighted she will now bring her leadership qualities to the Tesco Mobile team.'

Rumours come true

The announcement follows longstanding rumours that Vollmer was looking to move, with the FT claiming in December 2016 that he was in final discussions with longstanding rivals, Virgin Media. The FT stated, ‘The cable company is now close to agreeing the appointment.’ However, Tesco Mobile at the time refused to comment on the news, describing it as ‘just speculation.’

However, this time when Mobile first asked Tesco Mobile fora response to the recurrent rumour, a spokesperson confirmed the departure but stated that they were not aware of where he was heading yet.

Describing Vollmer's departure, a Tesco Mobile spokesperson discussed his legacy stating, 'Under Anthony’s strong leadership Tesco Mobile has grown to become the UK’s fifth largest mobile network with over 4.8 million customers and 440 Tesco Mobile phone shops. Tesco Mobile is now widely respected not just by its mobile peers but also by organisations like Ofcom and Which? for its service excellence and its innovative, customer champion approach.'

Previous to his CEO role at Tesco Mobile, Vollmer worked in various roles at the same company for two years prior. Before that he worked at BT, and at BT’s subsidiary PlusNet as CEO.

When asked about any possibility of Vollmer popping up at Virgin Media, Virgin told refused to comment other than that they have 'nothing to announce.'

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.