This article was originally published on TechRadar

Dixons Carphone is accelerating its digital transformation with two key appointments and the consolidation of its technology divisions into a single ‘centre of excellence’.

The new division will bring together the company’s IT, eCommerce, data management and security teams and will be overseen by Mark Allsop from January.

Allsop is currently Chief Digital Marketing and Information Officer at Merlin Entertainment, and is credited with the creation of ‘Merlin Digital’. This brand brought together the eCommerce and digital customer experiences for Merlin properties, including Alton Towers, London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

Dixons Carphone appointments

He has also previously led SAP implementations and significant IT transformation programmes, experiences which will undoubtedly have played a role in his appointment.

Dixons Carphone is the UK’s largest mobile phone retailer but has struggled to cope with changing consumer habits. A saturated market and longer refresh cycles are lowering contract renewal rates, making SIM-Only tariffs and SIM-free handsets more popular, squeezing margins.

CEO Alex Baldock is currently leading a transformation of the business, expressing a desire to “reset” Dixons Carphone’s relationship with operators so they are more sustainable and believes that combined with plans to improve its technology, train staff and offer credit services, the firm can revitalise its mobile business and drive online sales.

“The world of retail is changing at an extraordinary pace. For us to deliver our vision, we must have a clear digital strategy for our future,” said Baldock. “We need our technology and digital capabilities to work harder for us and for our customers to create amazing experiences.

“Mark is a creative and innovative leader and joins us from a business that really knows how to create memorable, immersive experiences for its customers. He will bring additional digital experience and resource to our discussions and decisions at the most senior level.”

Digital transformation efforts had been led by CIO Leonidas Athanasiou, but he is leaving the company for personal reasons. He will be replaced by Alex Gamble, who is currently CIO of Dyson. Athanasiou will continue to lead the IT teams until Gamble, who will report to Allsop, joins in January.

“I am delighted that Mark and Andy are joining us,” added Baldock. “This is another step in our continued evolution towards becoming the world class, digital business we know we can be.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Leonidas for his hard work transforming the IT function in preparation for the future and for creating a great platform for Andy and Mark to build upon.”

This article was written by Steve McCaskill