Telefonica CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete took the reigns as chair of VMO2, replacing Liberty Global boss Mike Fries, who held the position for two years after the deal to merge Virgin Media with O2 in the UK closed in June 2021.

The change was expected due to the original merger agreement, which stipulated VMO2 would rotate chairman between Telefonica and Liberty Global every two years.

In a short announcement, Telefonica stated Alvarez-Pallete was to take over as chair today (2 June) until June 2025, while Mike Fries remains on the VMO2 board.

Telefonica and Liberty Global announced the merger of their UK operations and plans to pump £10 billion into the market over five years in May 2020.

Fries vacates the role shortly after stating on an earnings call that Liberty Global was open minded about the future structure of VMO2.

Liberty Global is free to sell VMO2 shares from June 2024.