Virgin Mobile appoints founder as Middle East boss

Alan Gow, who created the operator’s business model, takes the reigns in Dubai HQ
Alan Gow is now CEO of Virgin Mobile MEA.
Alan Gow is now CEO of Virgin Mobile MEA.


The man responsible for creating Virgin Mobile, Alan Gow, has been appointed as the new boss of the brand’s operations in the Middle East and Africa in a sign of the region’s growing importance.

Gow’s transfer to Virgin Mobile’s Dubai headquarters comes as it prepares to launch in the emirate, under telecom du’s parent company Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co.

Gow co-founded the mobile brand in the UK alongside Sir Richard Branson and is credited with creating its economic model as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) – a model that was a first of its kind at the time.

Under his leadership, Virgin Mobile in the UK grew to become a $1bn company in less than four years. He was also responsible for steering the company through a series of funding rounds and an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in 2004, Virgin Mobile said in a statement.

He also led a $1.6bn sale transaction to create the Virgin Media group in the UK in 2006. The company has become a world leader in converged communications technologies.

Gow will move to the top of the Middle East and Africa leadership, above Mikkel Vinter, who has led the brand’s operations in the region since its beginning.

Virgin Mobile’s UAE operations is being led by Karim Benkirane. The brand will use EITC's network and infrastructure in the same way that du does, and EITC has created an internal business unit to handle the brand in the UAE.



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