After weathering the worst of a major customer hack in October 2015, TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding is stepping down after seven years in charge. In a regulatory announcement today, the provider confirmed that Harding will stay with the company until May, when Tristia Harrison -- who is currently the Managing Director of TalkTalk's Consumer division -- will replace her. To assist with the transition, TalkTalk founder Charles Dunstone will scale back his role at Dixons Carphone and serve as Executive Chairman.
Unsurprisingly, the bulletin doesn't acknowledge the difficult circumstances that the company has faced over the past 15 months. With clearer operating strategies and a recent rebrand behind her, Harding says she will leave TalkTalk having "laid the foundations for long term growth," to concentrate on her career in public service. She is a non-executive member of the Court of the Bank of England, a member of the House of Lords and a trustee of Doteveryone.
Since the hack in 2015, which affected around 170,000 customers, TalkTalk has worked hard to rebuild its reputation. Free upgrades were offered to customers to stop them leaving, but that didn't stop 100,000 subscribers from jumping ship. In December, a teenage hacker that played a key role in the breach was sentenced to a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, after pleading guilty to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act.
In a separate announcement, TalkTalk said that revenue had fallen on the previous year, caused by a high number of customers renewing contracts or accepting new price deals. Just yesterday, the company introduced a number of short-term price cuts, as well as price freezes until 2019. "Between now and May, we will work together on a handover that maintains focus on this years' performance and enables the new team to prepare for the next financial year and beyond," Harding said.