Lebara hires nine senior execs as part of expansion drive


Appointments include former Orange UK CCO Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke as deputy CEO, with ethnic MVNO aiming to double shops selling its products to 500,000 in the next three months

Lebara has appointed nine senior executives into newly created roles in a move to “disrupt the existing landscape and drive rapid expansion”.

As part of this, the ethnic MVNO, which has 250,000 distribution outlets and five million customers in eight countries, is aiming to double the number of retail stores offering its products to 500,000 throughout Europe, Asia and North America in the next three months.

Among the eight new senior director hires is Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke, who joins as deputy CEO. He was formerly UK COO of Orange and most recently was COO of Asia-based Maxis Communications.

Former Cobra Beer COO and finance director Dynshaw Italia has been brought in CFO, ex Shazam Entertainment VP of marketing communications Beatrice Farina as chief brand officer, former Disney Mobile SVP Andrew Lacy as chief product officer and Richard Bastin, who joins from international payment service Currency Cloud, as chief technology officer.

Manjot Mann, former Hutchison Telecommunications CEO, has joined as CEO of communication to oversee global profit and loss targets, ex Hutchison Whampoa (Europe) director of branding Keith Kirby has come in as chief marketing officer, former Singapore Telecom director of pay TV Aditya Thakur as CEO of media and Halimah Abdullah as customer service director.

The Lebara Group has also established a board of directors, with the first non-executive appointment being former chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Asia Pacific, Gaby Abdelnour. In addition, Evert Jaap Lugt, former founder and CEO of mobile VoIP company Nimbuzz, has been appointed as an advisor to the board and management team.

The firm said the first stage of its development is already underway with the launch of its VoIP and messaging app Lebara Talk last month.

Customers can top-up using their credit card or cash vouchers in-store or online. Lebara Talk is available as a free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The firm said it will be rolling out several new digital services over the next 12 months, such as money transfers for customers.

Lebara Group chairman and CEO Yoganathan Ratheesan (pictured) said: “By removing barriers to entry and reducing complexity, we want to build on our reputation as a provider of inclusive and accessible products and services, addressing the everyday lifestyle challenges of migrants.

“We’ve invested heavily in talent and technology to drive the next stage of Lebara’s growth. With the new additions to an already experienced team, I am confident that we have a well-balanced mix of executive talent to deliver on our plans.”