2degrees names Roy Ong as successor to Malcolm Phillipps

Following last year’s departure of long-serving Malcolm Phillipps, 2degrees has confirmed the appointment of Roy Ong as its new chief marketing officer. 

Ong will start his new role in March, joining from consumer goods company Comvita, where he currently serves as chief global sales and marketing officer. 

Prior to that, Ong worked as Kirin’s globla market development director for Asia and South America, and earlier also held senior positions with Lion, The Warehouse Group, New Zealand Post and Heinz Watties.

The appointment of Ong comes after what 2degrees described as a “long search” for a replacement for Malcolm Phillipps, who left the company in August last year to run his own consultancy after a tenure that stretched back to 2009. 

With the explosion of smartphone use and online streaming, Ong joins the company at a time of significant change across the telco industry.

In the middle of last year, 2degrees joined the broadband market with the acquisition of Snap—an important move for a company looking to attract business customers.

In a bid to tap into the business market, 2degrees launched a range of campaigns featuring prominent Kiwi businesspeople Dion Nash, Al Brown, Kate Sylvester and Geoff Ross. And the company followed this up with a campaign focusing on Whittaker’s, Jucy, Ecostore and Lewis Road, is in a similar vein. 

The importance of tapping into this market lies in increasing the average revenue per user (ARPU). While high consumer numbers are good for the company, business clients provide greater revenue potential. 

Although Phillipps did describe the ‘Smartest Business People’ campaign as one of 2degrees’ most successful to date and although the telco did win a few bigger clients last year, it’s likely that attracting new business clients and further increasing the ARPU of the company’s customer base will form a major part Ong’s role when he starts next month. And he will have to navigate this challenge while simultaneously ensuring that the company’s current broadband and mobile users remain enamoured with the brand.           

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