mm02 legal head axed

Mobile operator mmO2 has undertaken a wholesale review of its legal function, which has already resulted in the company’s head of legal, the highly respected Giuseppe Sanna, being made redundant.

The review is part of a broader restructuring of the business following the sale of its Dutch division and the integration of O2 Products into O2 UK.

The legal group could see further redundancies, with the company planning to slash 200 staff and a whole level of senior management.

A source in the mmO2 legal department told The Lawyer: “mmO2 has had an internal reorganisation. There’s been an amalgamation of a number of divisions and it’s perceived that there’s no longer a need for one person to oversee all those divisions.”

Company secretary and general counsel Philip Bramwell, who joined the company from British Telecom (BT) when mmO2 was demerged from BT, retains his position, but final reporting lines have yet to be decided.

O2 UK chief legal counsel Richard Hastings joined the company as recently as August from Interoute with a brief to work closely with Sanna. He also reports directly to O2 UK chief executive officer Vivek Dev; but with the integration of O2 Products he may find himself with a much larger team.

The highly-respected Sanna joined the company in January 2002 from General Electric (GE) and launched an innovative and successful overhaul of the 45-strong legal function.

Sanna instituted 10 practice groups, which saw lawyers focusing on particular areas to boost expertise and productivity. Before GE, Sanna was European legal director for household cleaning product company Reckitt Benckiser.

mmO2 declined the opportunity to comment.