Avenir UK managing director Andy Tow (pictured) has secured an interim injunction against his predecessor Tanny Price working at Vodafone as head of distribution.
The injunction, filed with the High Court in London on February 23, followed termination of Avenir’s Vodafone distribution licence. It also covers former Avenir head of services Toby Wickenden working at Vodafone service provider Yes Telecom.
A statement from Avenir said it had moved to prevent the pair “acting in breach of their contractual duties owed to Avenir by working for any of Avenir’s competitors”.
Vodafone confirmed it is in “discussions” with Avenir but refused to say any more. Price is not working at her role at Vodafone until conclusion of the legal wrangle.
Tow contends Price had prior knowledge of Vodafone’s action against Avenir, Mobile News understands.
Price took the role of Vodafone head of distribution in January ahead of the sacking of three senior directors (Simon Howitt, Kevan Wakerley and Ray Bell) from Yes Telecom.
Her first job was to revitalise the failing Yes Telecom operation, a direct competitor to Avenir for business contracts. Price has not been at Yes Telecom’s Manchester headquarters since the injunction was granted.
The Avenir statement said: “Avenir’s business success is based on the strength and the quality of its relationships with its network of dealers across the UK.
“The company believes that the activities of Ms Price and Mr Wickenden threatened those relationships, and Avenir has accordingly taken steps to protect itself and its dealers.”
Price was unavailable for comment. Indirect dealers have admitted surprise at Price’s implication in Vodafone’s recent action against Avenir, and Avenir’s decision to take out an injunction against her. “There is much, much more to this,” said one.
Meanwhile, Avenir dealers have been offered an extra £125 commission on Orange business connections and £100 on O2 deals.
One dealer said: “It’s an attempt to get customers off Vodafone and on to Orange and O2, and to keep them with Avenir. Avenir will lose a lot of Vodafone customers to Yes Telecom; Orange and O2 see this as a great opportunity. It’s a fighting fund.”
Another dealer said: “It’s a big sweetener for me to sign my existing Vodafone customers to Orange and O2 through Avenir.”