Virgin Mobile SA CEO Steve Bailey, who resigned from the company this month, has been appointed as chief commercial officer at Glo, the second largest mobile operator in Nigeria after MTN with more than 25m subscribers.
Bailey says he will take up the new role as soon as he receives the necessary visas to travel to and work in the West African country. His responsibilities will include sales and marketing and “the commercial role and all that encompasses”. Founded in 2003, Glo Mobile is owned by the Mike Adenuga Group and has more than 2 500 employees.
Meanwhile, TechCentral reported on 18 May that a shareholder shake-up is on the cards at Virgin Mobile in SA. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is planning to dilute its shareholding in mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) by selling a portion of its shares to Dubai-based telecommunications company, the Friendi Group.
A well-placed source told this website that Virgin would reduce its 55% stake in Virgin Mobile to a minority position to facilitate Friendi’s purchase. It’s not known what percentage of the company Friendi is acquiring but an announcement with more details is expected soon.
Friendi operates a number of MVNOs in the Middle East region. It’s understood that 45% shareholder Calico Investments, which is aligned to SA mobile phone distribution business Allied Mobile, will retain its stake, which it bought in early 2011. Virgin Mobile SA will also retain its brand name and identity.
It’s expected that Virgin, Calico and Friendi intend working together to pursue MVNO opportunities elsewhere in Africa through a newly structured holding company.
Virgin Mobile was the first — and is still the only — MVNO operating in SA. It piggybacks on Cell C’s network. Cell C sold its 50% shareholding in the company last year. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media