Virgin loses more top brass

The exodus of top brass from telecoms companies continues, with Virgin Mobile announcing a double whammy on Thursday.

Alan Gow, managing director of Virgin Mobile and Joe Steel, Virgin Mobile’s deputy managing director and commercial director, have both announced plans to step down.

Gow, who will leave Virgin later this year, has only been in job about a year, he replaced Tom Alexander who left in July 2006. The recruitment process for Gow’s successor at “is well advanced,” the company said.

Steel will leave the company in July and is not expected to be replaced.

The changes come just a year after the integration process between NTL and Virgin began and possibly reflect the ongoing integration between Virgin Media’s cable operation and Virgin Mobile. When the companies first merged, a handful of high flyers at Virgin stepped down, including Alexander.

But the move also follows a trend of management stepping down from telecoms firms.

Last month UK 3G operator 3 said that Bob Fuller is to retire as he turns 60 at the end of June, while May saw departure announcements from Edward Whitacre, chief executive of AT&T, Sanjiv Ahuja, head of Orange’s international and domestic mobile operations, and the president and chief executive officer of German vendor Siemens, Klaus Kleinfeld.

Interestingly, Gow and Steel were both acknowledged as co-founders of Virgin Mobile in 1999. Earlier this week, some of the initial members of Virgin Mobile USA got into trouble for using the same terminology.

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