Vodafone Group named UK chief executive Jeroen Hoencamp as its new CEO in the Netherlands, paving the way for him to lead the company’s proposed joint venture with Liberty Global in the country.
In a statement, Vodafone said Hoencamp (pictured), a Dutch citizen, will assume the position of CEO of Vodafone Netherlands from 1 September, “in anticipation of the joint venture closing”, while also being nominated to head up the merged entity.
Group enterprise chief executive Nick Jeffery, meanwhile, will replace Hoencamp as CEO in the UK.
The move comes after Vodafone and Liberty Global last week offered concessions to the European Commission to seal approval. The deal will see a convergence of Vodafone’s mobile business with Liberty Global’s fixed operation, Ziggo, and steps up competition with Dutch incumbent KPN.
Hoencamp led Vodafone’s UK business for three years, and the company’s move to install him in the Netherlands is a display of confidence that the deal will be approved by regulators.
The EC is due to make a decision on the deal by 3 August.
Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, said the appointments of both Hoencamp and Jeffery will “further strengthen our Netherlands and UK businesses as our convergence strategy in those markets continues to gather pace”.
On Liberty Global’s side, the company said Ziggo CFO Ritchy Drost will assume the same role should the joint venture be approved, while CEO Baptiest Coopmans will remain in the position until the deal closes, after which will join the supervisory board of the joint company.
In a further management change, Vodafone said Ahmad Essam, CEO of its Egyptian subsidiary, will oversee the company’s smaller European markets (Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Romania, as well as its interest in the proposed Netherlands join venture) at group executive level.
Stefano Gestaut, chief executive of Vodafone’s partner markets business, will replace Essam as the new chief of Vodafone Egypt.