Jeroen Hoencamp, Vodafone UK’s boss, will quit Britain to head the business in Holland where the telecoms giant is about to merge its operations with US cable giant, Liberty Global.
The Dutchman returns home in September to become chief executive of Vodafone Netherlands and oversee the mobile operator’s tie-up with Ziggo, Liberty’s loss-making broadband network.
Vodafone’s enterprise boss Nick Jeffery will now head the UK arm, where the mobile operator has been anchored since its formation in the 1980s. Vodafone has nearly 20 million customers in the UK, but has struggled to improve customer service amid mounting competition from the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media.
During his three years as UK boss, Mr Hoencamp, 49, oversaw Vodafone’s subdued launch into the broadband market; the division now has around 40,000 customers since being set up in October.
Vodafone’s UK arm scrapped plans to offer pay-TV services last year, sacking the director in charge of the service, Cindy Rose, but said a 2016 launch was on its way and in “field trials”.
Mr Hoencamp, who began his career at Vodafone Netherlands in 1998, has navigated the company’s ongoing attempts to improve its mobile service and stem customer complaints.
He spearheaded Project Spring, a £19bn two-year investment project to improve the company’s mobile infrastructure, which is due to close this year, although it has yet to reach targets to cover 90pc of the population with 4G mobile coverage.
The costs of the project have weighed on Vodafone’s profitability; it posted a £449m pre-tax loss in the year to March 31, versus a £1.1bn profit the previous year.