TalkTalk CEO steps down as de-merger continues


From March, CEO Tristia Harrison will become a non-executive director of the new independent wholesale platform 

The CEO of TalkTalk, Tristia Harrison, is stepping down from her role as the firm prepares for its demerger. 

Last week, the Broadband ISP informed staff of their plan to demerge the business into three separate entities: consumer, business and wholesale. 

Harrison, who has been in the role since 2017, will oversee the group’s breakup, before handing over leadership of the wholesale unit to Tom O’Hagan, the consumer unit to Adam Dunlop and former Managing Director of TalkTalk Direct, and for now, it appears that Ruth Kennedy with continue to run the business arm. 

The separation is expected to be effective from 1st November this year, with the legal demerger is aiming to be completed by 1st March next year. 

“The demerger will allow each company to focus on meeting the needs of their distinctive customer bases, eliminate operational complexity, and support balance sheet refinancing and investment on a standalone basis,” said the company in a press release. 

For some time, TalkTalk have mulled the break-up of the group as debt pressure has grown, which now stands at over £1.1 billion. The deadlines to service these debts are quickly approaching, with TalkTalk carrying a £330 million revolving credit facility that matures next November, as well as £685 million of debt that matures in February 2025. 

The cost of refinancing these debts have pushed the firm to reconsider its options. 

Last year, there was chatter around a proposed £3 billion takeover by VMO2, which could have solved TalkTalks’s problems, but this did not materialise. The firm is hoping to fetch £150 million from its business arm, for which Daisy Group is currently the frontrunner, after talks with Sky collapsed.  

How will the TalkTalk demerger affect the UK broadband market? Find out at Connected North 2024 – book your tickets now! 

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