Since the merger of Vodafone and Ziggo in the Netherlands, new challenges emerged in managing the dual responsibilities of Vodafone Global Enterprise and VodafoneZiggo. To continue serving multinational clients through VGE, while also creating a successful future for VodafoneZiggo locally, VGE NL is looking for an exceptionally strong leader. This role is all about finding creative solutions for challenges in a highly dynamic market, while successfully managing senior stakeholders whose priorities and perspectives are not always aligned. The candidate who can solve this challenge unlocks massive potential for VGE, VodafoneZiggo, and his or her own career.
Vodafone is one of the world’s leading telco players. The company has a strong history of operating through a nationally focused organization structure, with a country CEO and local P&L. In addition, to successfully serve its ~1400 global clients, Vodafone operates through Vodafone Global Enterprise. VGE is again organized in different locations, in order to serve global clients in their head office country or in countries where they have a strong presence. Each national Vodafone head office delegates authority to VGE, to manage the relations with and revenue from these multinational clients.
In the Netherlands, Vodafone and Ziggo merged into a joint venture in 2016. While this allowed Vodafone to better serve its local customers, it complicated the way of working with VGE. Operating as a joint venture with equal ownership, VodafoneZiggo continues to serve the (global) interests of Vodafone, while also focusing on a successful future of the joint enterprise. VGE Netherlands is faced with the challenge of continuing to serve its clients in the best way possible – from both a Vodafone Global perspective and a VodafoneZiggo perspective.
The Dutch VGE team consists of 20 account and 3 sales managers. Furthermore, the team works together with several adjacent operational and functional roles. In a type of matrix setup, the team reports vertically to the Global Enterprise, and horizontally to VodafoneZiggo. Because of the recent organizational changes, parts of this team and the leadership it works with are new to the organization. As a result, there is an opportunity for coaching and supporting team members’ development.
Vodafone is looking for an emotionally intelligent and strategically savvy leader to head the Dutch Global Enterprise division. He or she is comfortable in a relatively senior position, but still eager to keep learning and growing in his or her career. Vodafone Global Enterprise is a supportive environment where colleagues are enthused about achieving goals and making things happen. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop into very senior leadership roles, potentially in different geographies or within the VodafoneZiggo venture.
Because of the unique matrix setup, there is often a grey area where solutions and priorities are not straightforward – causing potential stakeholder conflicts. Meanwhile, the day to day business and targets have to be managed effectively. Therefore, VGE needs an exceptionally strong leader with a talent for relationship building and a knack for operational excellence within the telco industry.
The ideal candidate can demonstrably maneuver situations where multiple senior stakeholders have opposing views or priorities. He or she understands the importance of diplomacy in such situations, and is also able to take a firmer stance if needed. Effectively distinguishing between these and other influencing strategies and choosing the best one per situation is a key factor for success in this role.
The ideal candidate is also highly emotionally intelligent and comfortable with duality. He or she truly values different perspectives, and makes decisions from a place of accepting and appreciating the existing grey area, rather than from a black and white point of view.
Given the global focus of this role, the ideal candidate has international experience in complex working environments. Because the role is located in Utrecht, and deals partially with the Dutch market, having worked in the Netherlands and understanding and speaking Dutch are a huge advantage.
The telco sector is moving fast. From a once simple, traditional product, telco has evolved into a range of products and services that include different forms of voice and screen communication, business solutions, high speed Wi-Fi, entertainment and more. Regulations regarding pricing and privacy concerns on the one hand, and rapidly increasing technological possibilities on the other hand, are keeping the industry on its toes. Customers demand more and better offerings, while competitors fight for their loyalty. In this market, what is standard now may be obsolete next year.
Vodafone can play in this market like no other. Ben Elms, Regional Director Northern Europe: ‘In terms of its assets, its capabilities, its reach and its scale, Vodafone is truly unrivaled. We have challenges, but when things go well, they go really well. Then, Vodafone is unbeatable.’
The ideal candidate has some knowledge of and is highly passionate about the telco industry, and is comfortable with the level of flexibility it demands.
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