Three is on the hunt for a new top marketer after Tom Malleschitz’s promotion to chief digital officer for the wider Hutchison Whampoa group.
He takes on the newly-created role having played a key part in concocting the telecom’s push for digital advertising revenues via its partnership with adblocker maker Shine.
It is likely that Malleschitz’s new responsibilities will focus him on developing this strand. He previously told The Drum this would see the mobile network filter ads that it and the industry deem acceptable, a riff on the ‘Acceptable Ads’ program used by other adblockers.
Three did not reveal any detail on Malleschitz new role except to say that it is an “opportunity to strengthen and grow digital products and services for the company” - both in the UK and across the Hutchison Whampoa group.
While light on detail, that a telecoms owner would appoint a chief digital officer now speaks volumes about the wider move among Three and its peers to get skin in the digital game having endured the likes of Google and Facebook profiting from the breadth and depth of data shared across their networks.
The promotion caps off a career at Three that lasted more than five years. In that time, Malleschitz successfully shifted the brand’s positioning from cheap pricing to one built on providing added value, with services like 4G at no extra costs and unlocked handsets. The latest manifestation of this is the #Makeitright marketing strategy, which introduced Jackson the Puppet last year.
The efforts have seemingly struck a chord with consumers, with Three beating Talk Mobile, Virgin and Vodafone to become the second least complained about operator, tied with O2 even though it is the smallest player on the market.
It also comes at a time when Three, and the wider company's data policies are under intense scrutiny. Earlier this year, it was revealed that customer information from more than 130,000 users of the mobile network has been compromised in a cyber security breach.
Malleschitz’s replacement is yet to be announced but in the interim his job has been split between by Lianne Norry, director of brand and communications and Marsha Lenihan, director of strategy and insights.