Richard Schafer, a former finance director at Vodafone, joins OneCom with a brief to ensure that the firm is well-placed to capitalise on its recent period of expansion and to continue its push into unified communciations.
Richard brings 14 years of experience in the mobile sector to OneCom, based in Whiteley, Hampshire, which is a key partner of Vodafone.
He began his career in the industry with Three when it launched in 2000 and headed up several major projects there including the outsourcing of Three’s IT operations to Ericsson.
He later joined Vodafone, where he was appointed Finance Director for Enterprise, responsible for a profitable multi-billion-pound business unit. He was most recently Chief Financial Officer at Viacloud Group UK Limited.
Richard said: “I’m very pleased to be joining OneCom at this exciting time in its growth and development. OneCom has an unrivalled reputation in the industry and over the past four or five years has grown exponentially, really cementing itself as Vodafone’s key indirect partner.
“For me the attraction was in joining an organisation with huge credibility in the UK market and helping to strengthen its footing as it enters the next stage of its development.
“The landscape in mobile is changing and we’re now seeing the predicted shift to unified communications and the growth of converged fixed line and mobile services starting to happen in earnest. OneCom is well-placed to capitalise on that change.
“OneCom has thrived on entrepreneurship, and this growth has happened very quickly. Our job now is to ensure that the company has the appropriate structure to underpin the next phase of its successful journey.”
OneCom has rapidly expanded since it was formed by the merger of Premier Telecom and Business Phones Direct in summer 2013.
Since the merger, which created a company with a turnover in excess of £40million, the firm has made several acquisitions including the purchases of Gloucestershire-based telecoms specialist The Communications Centre, Brighton-based lead generation company Black Sheep Communications, IT services provider Simplicity4, and Norfolk telecoms firm OneStream.
OneCom now manages well over 200,000 mobile connections and has offices in Camberley, Brighton, Plymouth, Leeds, Telford, Southampton, Norwich and Edinburgh.
The company recently appointed Stephen Hunter, formerly a Director of Hampshire Trust Bank, as its chairman. He is tasked with reviewing OneCom’s structures and processes as the company seeks to continue its expansion.
Darren Ridge, OneCom Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to welcome someone of Richard’s calibre and experience to OneCom. His background and level of expertise will be hugely beneficial to us as we take the next steps in the evolution of OneCom.
“We are taking the right steps to ensure we have a strong management structure in place to provide us with a solid foundation for the future. Unified communications are the future of the mobile industry and we intend to be in the forefront of this change.”