Short statement announces her departure from Vodafone joint venture
Nancy Cruickshank, the entrepreneur tasked with rolling out Vodafone’s joint mobile money venture with rivals O2 and EE, is to be replaced as CEO just three months after her formal appointment, it was revealed today [5th February 2013].
Though Cruickshank was always described as launch editor, she had been working behind the scenes since last May as the venture – known as Weve – struggled to get the green light from EU financial regulators.
Behind the initiative is the aim of speeding the roll-out of mobile payments in Britain by developing a single set of technical standards for use on all devices and networks. Weve is also intended to act as a “one-stop-shop” selling services to advertisers.
Initially the venture was codenamed ‘Oscar’ and was envisaged as a mobile wallet service, though now it’s expected to be more aligned with marketing than payments when it does eventually become fully live (see below).
In an interview last year Cruickshank revealed how she hoped the service would generate £1 billion in revenues over five years, with 3 and Virgin Media also due to be brought on board as partners. Cruickshank, previously executive director of digital at the Telegraph Media Group, also said she hoped Weve would become a blueprint for the rest of the world.
Since then little more has been heard about the venture, except for a short statement from Weve saying that Cruickshank was now being replaced as CEO by David Sear, who was previously employed as divisional MD at Travelex, the world’s largest non-bank payments provider.
Cruickshank, said the company, would however remain on board until next month to ensure a “smooth transition.”
* Nike and Morrisons will be the first brands to run mobile marketing campaigns simultaneously across the Vodafone, EE and O2 networks via Weve, it was also announced today. From later this week the companies will be able to reach 15 million mobile users through Weve’s location-based, text and video messaging service.
But brands generally will be still unable to reach consumers using either the Three, Virgin Mobile or Tesco Mobile networks via Weve. The three other carriers have yet to commit to the joint venture and are thought to have baulked at the tens of millions of pounds of investment needed to become partners.