Michel rejoins Brightstar as 20:20 Mobile acquisition nears conclusion

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Michel returns to Brightstar as UK and Ireland boss, with 20:20 UK MD James Browning expected to leave

Brightstar has re-appointed Jim Michel as its UK and Ireland managing director, Mobile News understands.

Michel had a previous spell as Brightstar MD in 2011,  heading up Brightstar Europe – the JV with Tech-Data, taking over from Richard Turner who joined Google.

He retained his position following Tech Data’s £106 million JV buyout of Brightstar last August, but resigned in April this year for personal reasons.

Michel is said to have rejoined at the beginning of last month – although no official announcement has been made. Brightstar was unavailable for comment as Mobile News went to press.

He joins the growing list  of UK appointments post JV at Brightstar, including former Micro-P general manager of mobile John Doughty, who heads up Brightstar distribution, and VP for value added distribution Max Caballero, who was retained by Brightstar following the JV break up. More names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Browning quits
News of his appointment has fuelled speculation in the channel that Brightstar’s proposed acquisition of the 20:20 Mobile Group is now reaching its final stages, with sources close to both firms labelling it now “imminent.”

20:20 Mobile UK MD James Browning is also expected to announce his departure from the company this week.

Browning, who has been at 20:20 for eight years, is said to have already accepted a position with a venture capitalist.

20:20 declined to comment.

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