Mobile Industry Awards 2022: Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schüler is our Power 50 Person of the Year

MIA 2022 Power 50 Person of the Year
(Image credit: Future)

Virgin Media O2 CEO Lutz Schüler has been named the Power 50 Person of the Year at the Mobile Industry Awards 2022.

The Person of the Year award is given to the most influential individual in the UK mobile sector over the past 12 months. 

The Power 50 is the product of months of research and profiling, with the Person of the Year being the individual who our judges feel has been the most inspirational and innovative leader in the UK mobile industry over the last 12 months.

Power 50 2022

This year's Person of the Year is a relative newcomer to the UK mobile industry, but Schüler's impact since the merger between Virgin Media and O2 last year has been significant.

He might be a new face to those outside the UK, but is far from a rookie. His telecoms career spans three decades and he was actually part of the team that introduced the O2 brand to Germany in the early 2000s.

Schüler joined Virgin Media as COO back in August 2018, became CEO within 11 months, and then less than a year later announced the firm was merging with O2.

Since becoming chief executive of the combined entity in 2021, Schüler's stated ambition has been for the firm become a converged challenger to BT and the early signs of progress are apparent. 

Virgin Media O2 has gone from strength to strength, investing and expanding its fibre and mobile networks and innovating with customer propositions that take advantage of its infrastructure assets.

Like the entire industry, Virgin Media O2 stepped up to keep customers connected during the pandemic and the company hasn't forgotten its social responsibilities during the cost-of-living crisis. Under Schüler's leadership, Virgin Media O2 has spearheaded the national databank initiative while he himself has called on the government to reduce the VAT on social tariffs. 

On top of all this, Virgin Media O2 is the only major operator to have maintained inclusive EU roaming after Brexit, delivering genuine value for consumers and a clear differentiator.

Virgin Media O2 believes it is only at the start of its converged journey and it will be fascinating to see where it goes next under Schüler's leadership as it invests more in fibre and 5G connectivity.

The company is already shaking up the market and the strong momentum displayed thus far, combined with a commitment to customers is why Lutz Schüler is our Person of the Year 2022.

Congratulations to Lutz and to all of our 2022 Power 50!

Previous Winners

  • 2021: Marc Allera, CEO, EE and BT Consumer
  • 2020: Nick Jeffery, CEO, Vodafone
  • 2019: Marc Allera, CEO, EE and BT Consumer
  • 2018: Marc Allera, CEO, EE and BT Consumer
  • 2017: David Dyson, CEO Three UK
  • 2016: Sebastian James, Group CEO, Dixons Carphone
  • 2015: Sebastian James, Group CEO, Dixons Carphone
  • 2014: Andrew Harrison, CEO, Carphone Warehouse
  • 2013: Olaf Swantee, CEO, EE
  • 2012: Simon Stanford, VP of UK & Ireland telecommunications and networks division, Samsung UK
  • 2011: Guy Laurence, CEO, Vodafone UK
  • 2010: Tom Alexander, CEO, Everything Everywhere
  • 2009: Andrew Harrison, CEO, Carphone Warehouse
  • 2008: Kevin Russell, CEO, Three UK

Here is our full Power 50 2022:

1. Lutz Schüler, CEO, Virgin Media O2

2. Robert Finnegan, CEO, Three UK & Three Ireland

3. Marc Allera, CEO, BT Consumer

4. Conor Pierce, Corporate VP, Samsung UK & Ireland

5. Alex Baldock, CEO, Currys

6. Ahmed Essam, CEO, Vodafone UK

7. Jeff Dodds, COO, Virgin Media O2

8. Katherine Ainley, CEO UK & Ireland, Ericsson

9. Bridget Lea, MD, Commercial, BT Consumer

10. Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK

11. Howard Watson, CTIO, BT Group

12. Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer, Three UK

13. Andrea Dona, Chief Networking Office, Vodafone UK

14. David Hennessy, CTO, Three UK

15. Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Office, Mobile, Virgin Media O2

16. Jeanie York, CTO, Virgin Media O2

17. Sharon Meadows, Director of Propositions, EE

18. James Kitto, VP Sales, Samsung UK & Ireland

19. Phil Siveter, CEO, UK & Ireland, Nokia

20. Mark Allsop, COO and CDO, Currys

21. Jon Shaw, Commercial Operations  Director, Vodafone UK

22. Annika Bizon, Marketing and Omnichannel Director, Samsung UK & Ireland

23. Jo Bertram, Managing Director, Business and Wholesale, Virgin Media O2

24. Steve Oliver, CEO, musicMagpie

25. Ashley Schofield, CEO, GiffGaff

26. Kate Beaumont, Director Device Operations, Product & Innovation, Vodafone UK

27. Joe Walsh, Director B2B, Samsung UK

28. Gerry O'Keeffe, EVP for EMEA and APAC, Likewize

29. William Paterson, UK & Ireland country director, TCL

30. Dame Melanie Dawes, CEO, Ofcom

31. Fergal Donovan, Regional President - Europe, PCS Wireless

32. Claire Pickthall, CEO, Tesco Mobile

33. Charleen Fang, MD, Oppo UK

34. Anurag Khilnani, Category Leader (GM), Wireless and Home Entertainment, Amazon UK

35. Payton Dobbs, General Manager, UK Devices & Services, Google

36. James Reed, Managing Director - Endpoint Solutions, Tech Data

37. Catherine Amran, SMB Director, Virgin Media O2

38. Greg Mesch, CEO, CityFibre

39. Danny Marshall, Device Portfolio Director, BT/EE

40. Pierre Coppin, Director of Commercial, Product and Propositions, Sky Mobile

41. Brendan Arndt, Device Portfolio Director, Three

42. Paul Crossman, CEO, Genuine Solutions

43. Nastasi Karaiskos, UK leader, Rakuten Symphony

44. Terry O'Brien, Wholesale CEO, Digital Wholesale Solutions

45. Martin Flick, CEO, Onecom

46. Miles Norman, General Manager UK & Ireland, Lenovo

47. Dave McGinn, CEO, Daisy Communications

48. Craig Smith, MD, Mazuma Mobile

49. Peter Carnall, Managing Director, Eurostar Global Distribution

50. Francis Wong, CEO, Realme Europe