Centrica Telecoms hiring calls review

Centrica Telecommunications has hired former Orange and Cable &

Wireless marketer Phil Hendey as its commercial director, triggering a

review of the firm's agencies.



Hendey reports to Centrica Telecoms managing director Ian

El-Mokadem.



He will be responsible for all marketing activity for British Gas

Communications, including brand advertising and customer communications,

product development, customer lifecycle management and network

relationships.



Hendey confirmed that he will review the firm's agency

relationships.



"There is a lot of competition in the telecoms market and I need to be

sure that we are armed for the fight ahead," he said.



"Centrica has access to two-thirds of households in the UK through the

services it offers, and it is my job to deliver simple, motivating

propositions that build on the group's core strengths."



The decision will put incumbent agencies BMP DDB and OMD UK on

alert.



BMP DDB is the incumbent on British Gas Trading, and picked up the

additional telecoms business around the time of its launch last

year.



Hendey spent five years at Orange, becoming head of brand management

before leaving in 1999 for Cable & Wireless, where he was global

vice-president of brand and customer relationship management for about a

year.



He has since worked in internet consultancy.



It is not yet clear whether Hendey will also be responsible for

commercial activities for One.Tel, the Australian telecoms business

Centrica acquired earlier this month.



The acquisition took Centrica Telecoms' customer base past the one

million mark. Centrica's target is to build a telecoms business with a

UK market share of about 10%.



Hendey has brought in Andy Ruckley, with whom he worked at both Orange

and C&W, as head of market strategy. James Monighan, who was already at

British Gas Communications, takes on the role of head of products.



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