Frédéric Michel has been named as Europe director, public affairs and communication at Telefónica, the telecoms group that owns O2.
Michel hit the news in May when he was questioned in the Leveson Inquiry about his level of contact with then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt over News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB.
Speaking at the Leveson Inquiry, Michel revealed that ‘my view is that Jeremy Hunt was probably supportive on some of the arguments’.
In his newly created role, beginning on 15 October, Michel will report to Richard Poston,Telefónica Europe’s director of corporate affairs, and will help lead Telefónica's EU strategy, based in Brussels.
Michel said: ‘Telefónica is leading its industry in breaking new frontiers in the digital world in some of the biggest and most competitive marketplaces – from South America to the UK. In a critical economic climate, Europe needs to be able to rely on major industry players that are committed to investing, helping innovation and fostering opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
‘Telefónica has a genuine ambition to help draw the EU policy road map and I look forward to contributing to a team that will be crucial in delivering our long-term growth goals.’
He will develop and lead Telefónica’s communications and public affairs strategies on EU regulatory and public policy issues, assisting the formulation of policy, providing support and strategic advice to the executive leadership of the company and its operational businesses across Europe.
JoseMaria Alvarez-Pallete, chairman and CEO of Telefónica Europe, said: ‘Frédéric's considerable international experience combined with his ability to help companies contribute to the European debate will be a substantial asset as we continue our digital transformation. I am pleased that he will play an important role in the delivery of our overall European business strategy at a time of significant opportunity for the business.’
Michel will work closely with all the Telefónica Europe operating businesses to ensure a consistent and coherent approach within Brussels.