APRIL 4, 2002
Snook gets a new job
HANS SNOOK, the former boss of the Orange mobile phone company - and the man who pioneered the company's Formula 1 sponsorship, has recently been appointed chairman of Carphone Warehouse, Europe's biggest mobile phone retailer. Snook's job will be to rebuild the troubled company which has suffered in recent years as the major mobile companies now all have their own retail outlets and Carphone Warehouse has been under pressure and has been closing down some of its European shops. It will be interesting to see what Snook tries to do. The mobile phone retail market is saturated but it is not impossible that Snook may try to revive the business by going into the mobile business and doing deals to piggyback his services on the hardware owned by the major mobile firms. There is potential for such services with the third generation mobile phone network which have the potential for all kinds of new services.
The interesting question for F1 teams is whether Snook might try to use F1 as a means of promotion once again as the Orange sponsorship has been very successful despite the lack of results at Arrows. It is thought likely that Orange (now owned by France Telecom) will switch to a more competitive team in the future to get more return on its investment.
Snook is not new to rebranding and building companies. In 1993 he was hired by Hutchison Whampoa to build up a mobile phone business called Rabbit but decided it was going nowhere and created Orange, in partnership with British Aerospace, instead. When the business was sold to France Telecom in 1999 it was worth $51bn.
Who knows what Carphone Warehouse could become...
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