UPC Ireland to become ‘more closely aligned’ with UK’s Virgin Media

18 Nov 2014

UPC Ireland managing director Magnus Ternsjö at the recent CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards in Dublin

Cable broadband and TV provider UPC Ireland is to become ‘more closely aligned’ with the UK’s Virgin Media, Siliconrepublic.com has learned. The head of UPC Ireland will now report to the CEO of Virgin Media.

UPC’s parent company Liberty Global acquired Virgin Media last year in a deal valued at about US$23.3bn.

UPC Ireland’s managing director Magnus Ternsjö will become part of the Virgin Media executive committee, reporting to the CEO of Virgin Media Tom Mockridge.

Ternsjö’s predecessor in the role of heading up the Irish operations, Dana Strong, last year became chief operations officer of Virgin Media in the UK while another former CEO of UPC Ireland, Robert Dunn, became chief financial officer of Virgin Media.

An email was sent to employees of Liberty Global this morning revealing “organisational changes in Ireland and the UK”.

The email, from Diederik Karsten, executive vice-president at Liberty Global’s European Broadband Operations, said that “effective 1 December, UPC Ireland and Virgin Media will establish more formal lines of co-operation”.

Karsten said that operationally, close collaboration is already ongoing between the two companies in areas such as programming, mobile and business-to-business.

Closer alignment of UPC Ireland with Virgin Media

“The UPC Ireland senior management team will continue to report into Magnus and, in addition to their existing functional Liberty Global reporting lines, will establish closer lines of engagement with their Virgin Media colleagues. This change represents a great opportunity for both companies to join forces while they keep focus on the unique customer needs in each market, benefitting from economies of scale and providing opportunities to explore further regional co-operation.”

The email made no reference to what the re-organisation will mean for jobs or branding at either company.

UPC Ireland reported recently it now has 359,100 broadband subscribers, up 9pc on last year. UPC has 336,300 phone subscribers, up 21pc on last year. In terms of digital TV, the company reported it has 335,800 subscribers.

In May, UPC signed an MVNO deal with mobile operator Three with the intention of launching mobile phone services next year.

Organisational changes at UPC Ireland and Virgin Media

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years