TalkTalk Group today announces a series of leadership changes as it moves to demerge its main operating businesses in order to create three standalone companies to drive their own strategic direction, growth and investment.
The separation will lead to the creation of three independent companies: the B2B Wholesale Platform, the leading and fastest growing provider of wholesale telecom services in the UK; TalkTalk Consumer – home to 2.4 million residential broadband customers and the only scale value player in the residential broadband market; and TalkTalk Business Direct, which serves the connectivity needs of approximately 90,000 small businesses.
The leadership of each will be overseen by Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk Group CEO (since 2017), who will chair a newly established Oversight Board through to the point of legal separation on March 1, 2024. From March, Tristia will move to be a non-executive director of the B2B Wholesale Platform.
Tom O’Hagan, founder of Virtual1 and current MD of TalkTalk Business Wholesale, will be CEO of the Wholesale Platform, while Adam Dunlop, the former Managing Director of iD Mobile and current MD of TalkTalk Consumer and Supply & Partnerships, will be CEO of TalkTalk Consumer. Ruth Kennedy continues as Managing Director of TalkTalk Business Direct.
The demerger will allow each company to focus on meeting the needs of their distinctive customer bases, eliminate operational complexity, and support balance sheet refinancing and investment on a standalone basis.
The new companies will become operationally separate from November 1, and legally separate from March 1, 2024.
All three businesses will be headquartered in Salford, UK, and will continue to be supported by existing TalkTalk Group shareholders.
The changes will lead to a limited number of redundancies, primarily from central corporate functions.
Notes for editors
Business highlights – Tristia Harrison
Having joined TalkTalk in 2003, Tristia was part of the management team who separated the business from Carphone Warehouse in 2010.
Appointed CEO in 2017, Tristia has been central to the creation of TalkTalk as a challenger, value brand with associated brand values etc, growing the consumer business to 4m residential customers and record net promoter scores.
In 2019 she oversaw the successful move of TalkTalk’s HQ to Salford, Greater Manchester, and the delisting of the business, backed by existing shareholders, in 2021.
She oversaw the growth and sale of FibreNation to Cityfibre in 2021 which included a landmark wholesale agreement, and the acquisition in 2022 of Virtual1, which has been integrated with TalkTalk’s existing wholesale business to form the B2B wholesale platform.
She has also led the group’s supply diversification strategy, partnering with a number of lower cost wholesale alternative networks, unique in the industry.
She is now overseeing the demerger plan that she has devised over the past 12 months, and will chair the newly established Oversight Board to bring additional governance to the separation process.
Tristia Harrison has been the CEO of TalkTalk Group since 2017, having joined the business 20 years ago, rising from Marketing Director to the Managing Director of our consumer business before taking on her current role. Since moving our HQ to Salford, Greater Manchester, in 2019, Tristia has led our community engagement programme in the North West, including several charity partnerships to increase social mobility in the area, as well as initiatives to inspire and encourage more girls and women into careers in technology. This has included the launch of the North West Women in Tech awards, recognising and celebrating women working in technology, now in its third year. In 2022, she was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Salford in recognition of her contribution to enhancing digital skills in the community and for spearheading initiatives that encourage women into tech. Tristia is an Independent Non-Executive Director at Next Plc, and since 2021 has been the Trustee Chair of homelessness charity Crisis. Prior to this she served as a Trustee at Comic Relief from 2011-2020. She is a member of the CEO board and a founding member of the industry-backed campaign against online harm, Internet Matters, and is also an Honorary Trustee for the national charity Ambitious about Autism.
Adam joined TalkTalk in 2022, initially leading on strategic partnerships with the UK’s major fibre builders, and, since March 2023, leading our Direct Consumer and Direct Business divisions, building on his track record of leading challenger businesses. Before joining TalkTalk, Adam was Managing Director of iD Mobile, a new mobile consumer business which he launched in 2015 for Dixons Carphone Plc. Under his leadership, iD Mobile grew from start up to become an award-winning network building a base of 1m customers less than 4 years from launch. Prior to that, he held various leadership roles at Cable & Wireless Plc, the international telecoms group. His last role at C&W was Chief Executive of two of the group’s international businesses. He left C&W having led on the sale of these businesses to an international trade buyer. Adam spent his early career as a consultant on international trade and investment in emerging markets.
Tom joined TalkTalk in March 2022 on the acquisition of Virtual1, one of the largest wholesale providers in the UK B2B market, where he was founder and CEO. Tom has more than 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, having worked for leading global telecommunication providers both in the UK and the USA before founding Virtual1 in 2007. This drive, determination and ambition saw Tom recognised as the Entrepreneur of the Year at the Comms National Awards in 2017.