Three CEO Dave Dyson steps down

Three CEO Dave Dyson is stepping down from his position after nine years as the company is set to undergo a significant restructuring that will see ties with Three Ireland strengthened.

Dyson is leaving Three for personal reasons, but will continue to serve as a board member and as an advisor to parent company CK Hutchison.

He will be replaced by Three Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan, who will now hold both roles simultaneously. Finnegan has been in his current post since the company launched in 2005 and has grown Three's market share from one per cent to 36 per cent.

Three CEO

Closer European integration has been a priority for CK Hutchison, which also has networks in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. With the merger of O2 and Three almost complete in Ireland, the company has decided to use the opportunity to accelerate this process.

“5G is an exciting opportunity for both businesses and it’s a good time to pool our resources across the UK and Ireland to do that,” said Canning Fok, managing director of CK Hutchison. “I would like to thank David for his significant contribution as the CEO of Three UK and I look forward to continuing to work with him both in his Board roles and as a senior executive resource to CKHGT going forward.”

“With the integration of the Three and O2 business in Ireland largely complete, we now have a solid platform to look at the next phase of our development,” said Finnegan. “Collaborating more and progressively aligning operations and platforms with Three UK is an obvious opportunity and I am excited to be taking on this challenge as the CEO of both operations.”

Under Dyson’s leadership, Three has launched 4G and 5G networks and introduced a number of industry-disrupting propositions such as inclusive roaming. If the merger between Three and O2 had gone ahead in the UK, it would have been Dyson who would have led the country’s largest mobile operator.

After the failure to complete the transaction due to competition concerns, Dyson pressed ahead with Three’s 5G strategy which saw the implementation of a cloud-based core network, spectrum auction wins, and the acquisition of UK Broadband. Three also underwent a significant digital transformation project, with the company’s IT systems overhauled.

His achievements were recognised by the Mobile Industry Awards, which named him Person of the Year in 2017.

“Robert joins at an exciting time in our history and the combined assets of the UK and Ireland businesses are a fantastic platform to deliver against customer demand” added Dyson. “I wish Robert and all the employees of Three UK and Ireland the very best and I am delighted to be staying involved at Board level and as a senior executive resource to CKHGT.”

All change

Other senior executives are also leaving Three as it continues its management restructure. Shadi Haliwell and Richrd Woodward will leave their positions as Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Commercial Officer with their divisions combined into a single unit.

“As we look to maximise the 5G opportunity and fully leverage our investment in our IT and network, we are changing our operational structure, bringing together our Customer and Marketing teams under a single function,” a spokesperson told TechRadar Pro

“We are pleased to confirm the appointment of Elaine Carey as Chief Commercial Officer. Elaine will lead the combined Customer and Marketing team from March 2020. Elaine joins from Three Ireland, where she was also CCO and was responsible for driving the company’s strategic commercial agenda.”

TechRadar Pro also understands that Susan Buttsworth has replaced Graham Baxter as COO, Buttsworth previously headed up CK Hutchison Innovations Opportunities Development, a venture that looked to use the expertise from all of the company's businesses to create digital services that could be leveraged across the entire portfolio.

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.