TalkTalk CEO to leave in May as revenues fall

TalkTalk

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding is to step down later this year as the company reported a drop in revenue in its latest trading update.

Shares in the UK telecoms provider opened 8.5 percent higher today (Tuesday) after TalkTalk said Harding, CEO since 2010, would step down in May.

Tristia Harrison, currently MD of TalkTalk’s Consumer division will replace Harding while Charles Bligh, MD of TalkTalk Business, will become COO.

Harding said that after a seven-year stint which had “transformed TalkTalk’s customer experience and laid the foundations for long-term growth”, she was leaving to focus more on her activities in public service.

As part of the changeover, Non-Executive Chairman Charles Dunstone will step up to the role of Executive Chairman.

Dunstone, who will leave his role as Chairman of Dixons Carphone, said that Harding had helped transform TalkTalk into a much stronger business.

Harding, who has led the company since its demerger from Carphone Warehouse, oversaw a rising share price until 2015, when a cyber attack that saw the data of 156,959 customers potentially being accessed led to the loss of 101,000 customers.

The company was handed a record £400,000 fine by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office for security failings related to the cyber attack last October.

The news of Harding’s departure took the heat away from a trading update in which TalkTalk revealed revenues fell five percent year-on-year to £435 million in the three months to December.

On-net revenues fell 5.4 percent to £332 million due to churn of 1.6 percent amongst legacy customers whose tariffs had been changed.

The number of customers signing up for fibre and mobile services grew by 74,000 and 75,000 respectively during the quarter, however.

Revenues from enterprise customers fell to £92 million, a 3.2 percent decline, due to an expected decline in legacy voice revenues.

Finally, off-net revenues continued their decline to £11 million, a 15 percent drop.

Read more: Q&A with TalkTalk Business COO Duncan Gooding

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