Alumni Guest Lecture

Venue: Birmingham Business School
Alumni, Social Sciences
Tuesday 8th March 2011 (16:30-18:00)
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Alumni guest lecture

Lecture title: The Story of O2

Matthew Key Chairman and Chairman & CEO Telefónica Europe plc

O2 logoBirmingham Business School Alumnus Matthew Key (BSocSc, Economics, 1984), Chairman and CEO of O2, returns to BBS on the 8th of March to give a guest lecture around his business experience.


When BT cellnet was de-merged from BT in November 2001 it was a market laggard, trailing the competition on every indicator. It was given only six months to live. 5 years later (and with a new brand identity) O2 led the market on every measure. Matthew Key – who was CFO and CEO during this time – will tell the story of how he and the rest of the team turned the business around.

Matthew Key profile

Matthew Key became Chairman & CEO of Telefónica Europe at the start of 2008.  Prior to this, he was CEO of O2’s largest business, O2 UK.

He joined O2 UK in February 2002 before becoming CEO on 1 February 2005.  In his three years as CEO, he oversaw a turnaround of the business, as the company significantly outperformed the market and all of its competitors. Specific highlights during this period include O2 becoming Apple’s exclusive partner for the iPhone, the opening of The O2 (now the world’s most popular entertainment venue) and the creation of a 50:50 joint venture, Tesco Mobile.

Telefónica Europe operates in 5 countries – UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland & Slovakia.  The Company has 55 million customers, a turnover of approaching €15bn and Operating Profit of €4bn.  The Company’s product range across Europe, encompasses multiple communication services and fledgling businesses in personal media and financial services.

Prior to O2, Matthew held various financial roles with Vodafone, Coca-Cola & Schweppes, Grand Metropolitan and Kingfisher.  He qualified as  a Chartered  Accountant with Arthur Young in London in 1987, having previously achieved a first class honours degree in Economics from Birmingham University. He is married with three children and lives in Buckinghamshire.