A sweet swansong for departing Swantee


He joined at a difficult time during the formation of Everything Everywhere, but Paul Withers says the CEO has left the operator in extremely good health

EE CEO Swantee can be confident that when he steps down from his role after the company’s £12.5 billion sale to BT is complete that he has done a phenomenal job.

He joined just after the formation of Everything Everywhere and in the months leading up to the establishment of EE.

These were difficult times, with confusion surrounding the message EE was trying to convey. The integration of Orange and T-Mobile’s various systems, internal restructuring, multiple redundancies and duplicate high street stores left staff morale low, clouding the situation.

However, Swantee got to work on solving these issues and providing a clear message, something the formation of EE in November 2012 did perfectly in becoming the first network to offer 4G in the UK.

He never looked back, with EE hitting one million 4G customers within a year and becoming Europe’s biggest 4G provider just two years later, helped by the launch of 300Mbps speeds in November 2013 and a catchy marketing campaign headed up by Kevin Bacon.

Swantee was also quick to use this growing 4G network to clearly explain the uses of 4G and how it can be used elsewhere (EE TV and the Action Cam), with the network growing to the point where it won the lucrative 10-year emergency services contract just last month.

Customer service has been a problem, with EE frequently finishing bottom of Ofcom’s quarterly complains reports, but his decision in February 2014 to appoint 1,000 new staff in this division over the next two years has began to show positive results.

What the future holds for EE following its expected sale remains unclear, but he leaves it in extremely good health and it would be wise for new owner BT not to mess too much with a successful formula.