Vodafone Group Plc has named Steve Pusey as its new CTO. He will replace Tim Miles, who is returning to his native New Zealand.
Pusey leaves the post of executive VP and president of EMEA for Canadian telecoms and equipment manufacturer Nortel Networks Corp. He has been with Nortel since 1982, and was described by a former colleague as being highly customer-focused to the point where everyone comes second if a customer phones him.
He also has a reputation for tenacity and straight talking, which given the recent history at Vodafone where CEO Arun Sarin faced down shareholder revolt at the recent AGM, may serve him in good stead. Suppliers to Vodafone could be forgiven, meanwhile, for reading ominous signs of margin pressure into Pusey’s opening gambit, as quoted in the Vodafone statement on his appointment. He argues that the strategic priority will be to continue leveraging Vodafone’s scale benefits across all areas of technology, both to reduce capital and operating costs and ensure Vodafone differentiates its offering in the marketplace.
A background at a major equipment provider, and particularly one that had to do its own cost-cutting four years ago as it downsized from a $40bn to a $9bn company, may be just what Pusey needs in his new job.