Virgin CEO Schueler to Lead Liberty-Telefonica U.K. Unit


Liberty Global Plc’s chief executive officer in the U.K., Lutz Schueler, was named to lead the combined cable and wireless company it’s creating with Telefonica SA’s O2.

The German-born Schueler has been given the job of overseeing the 31.4 billion pound ($43.4 billion) merger of Liberty’s Virgin Media cable business with the British mobile carrier, the companies said Tuesday, confirming earlier reports. He previously led Liberty’s German company Unitymedia and moved to Virgin Media after Liberty sold that business to Vodafone Group Plc in 2019.

The deal still awaits approval from the U.K.’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, and a decision is due in the coming weeks. The combination, which will reshape Britain’s telecom market, has attracted complaints from rivals.

O2 Chief Financial Officer Patricia Cobian will hold the same position at Virgin-O2. She and Schueler have worked on merger integrations in previous roles.

The rest of Virgin-O2’s management team has yet to be named. Nor is it known what O2 CEO Mark Evans will do next. If the merger is cleared, the chairman of the combined company will alternate every two years between Spain’s Telefonica and Liberty Global, with the first stint going to Liberty CEO Mike Fries.

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