A HAMPSHIRE telecom giant has a new man at the helm day to day.

Whiteley-based Onecom today announces the appointment of Ben Dowd as CEO to drive the business’s ambitious expansion plans.

Darren Ridge, who founded Onecom and has overseen its rapid growth to become the biggest independent business telecoms firm in the UK , will continue to take an active role on the board as Group CEO.

Ben brings with him more than 20 years of telecoms industry experience. He was previously a member of O2 (Telefonica) UK’s executive board for 10 years and was instrumental in building O2’s unified communications and digital services businesses.

He will report directly to Darren and will be responsible for developing and expanding Onecom and running its day-to-day operations.

Darren Ridge said: “Ben shares my passion for driving Onecom forward and has a formidable track record and reputation in the industry.

“There are significant opportunities for growth ahead, both organically and inorganically. The acceleration of digital infrastructure in 5G and superfast fibre will drive new and enhanced data and digital services including IoT (Internet of Things), all of which will drive enhanced productivity and efficiency benefits for UK businesses. Onecom is ideally positioned to exploit this opportunity.

“In addition, the channel for fixed and mobile services continues to consolidate. Given Onecom’s size and ambition, the opportunity now exists for Onecom to take advantage of this.

“Ben is a hugely respected leader who will bring additional insight and strength to the senior team at Onecom, and I am delighted to welcome him.”

Ben said: “Darren’s ambition for the business is completely aligned with mine, and I am excited and energised by the challenge of taking Onecom on a new journey of ambitious growth as it stakes its claim as the UK’s leader in business communications technology.”

Onecom, which has its HQ in Whiteley now from 10 regional offices, including Cardiff, Belfast, Southampton, Plymouth, Leeds, Telford, Norwich and Brighton.

The company currently manages nearly 100,000 business customers and is on course to reach an annual turnover of £100 million.