Ehrlich goes back to his Hutchison roots

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 November, 2003, 12:00am

Former Sunday Communications group managing director Craig Ehrlich has rejoined Hutchison Whampoa, going back to his Hong Kong telecommunications roots after taking up the chairmanship of the largest worldwide mobile industry body early this year.

Mr Ehrlich became a director of Hutchison Mobile Communications, which advises tycoon Li Ka-shing's worldwide mobile operations, last month, but he is not a Hutchison employee.

His appointment comes at a time when Hutchison is conducting a global launch of its third-generation (3G) mobile service 3. It has committed US$16.7 billion to start the high-speed data service and is looking at a possible Hong Kong launch later this month.

A Hutchison Whampoa spokeswoman said Mr Ehrlich's new role would not clash with that of Hutchison Telecom managing director Agnes Nardi, who is in charge of Hutchison's mobile operations in Hong Kong.

'Craig is well-known to our group. He has an impressive track record and we expect he will make valuable contributions worldwide,' the spokeswoman said.

Mr Ehrlich became chairman of the GSM Association in February. It represents more than 603 mobile companies with 72 per cent of the world's mobile subscribers.

His recruitment will probably give Hutchison's marketing efforts a boost. The flamboyant Mr Ehrlich spearheaded an aggressive branding exercise for Sunday, which was founded in 1996 and listed in 2000. That year he was awarded a HK$29 million bonus and salary by the loss-making Sunday before resigning in December 2001.

Mr Ehrlich confirmed his Hutchison appointment, but declined to comment on whether he would be involved in the Hong Kong 3 launch.