Three appoints CIO and Head of RAN to aid 5G network transformation

(Image credit: Three)

The management restructure at Three UK is gathering pace with two key technical appointments that will aid the company’s digital transformation and the rollout of its 5G network.

Belinda Flinch has joined the company from Centrica and will serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO). Finch will bring all of Three’s existing IT functions under a single managerial team, controlling a team of 130 employees with additional contractor and partner support.

At the top of Finch’s in-tray will be the final stages of Three’s IT transformation, while she will also work closely with the firm’s product teams to drive improvements to customer service. Prior to her tole as CIO and Chief of Staff at Centrica, she spent eight years at Vodafone.

New Three CIO

“I’m delighted to be joining Three UK at this exciting time. It’s great to take the baton and lead the next chapter of Three’s transformation programme,” she said.

“Through working across all the functions at Three UK and bringing together all our IT capability into one team, we can deliver great customer benefits from our new IT infrastructure.”

Three has also named Peter Gilson as Director of RAN. Gilson joins from O2, where he managed the network sharing arrangement with Vodafone, and has held positions at Ericsson, Arqiva and Samsung as part of a telecoms career spanning more than two decades.

His new remit will see Gilson ultimately responsible for the design, construction and performance of Three’s 4G and 5G networks. Currently the UK’s smallest mobile operator, Three sees 5G as a unique opportunity to lead the market for the first time because of the 100MHz worth of contiguous spectrum it possesses and because of its focus on data.

The appointments follow Phil Sheppard’s departure as director of strategy and architecutre earlier this year and the exit of several senior executives – most notably former CEO Dave Dyson.

Dyson was replaced by Three Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan, who will serve as chief executive for both countries, while Susan Buttsworth and Elaine Carey have joined as Chief Operating Officer and chief commercial Officer respectively.

“Having a robust and leading IT strategy and senior-level focus on our network is integral to our success,” said Buttsworth. “It underpins everything we do, from getting the best from our technology, to offering best in class systems to serve our customers.

“We’re really excited to have Belinda and Peter joining Three UK leading these key pieces of work.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.