Leadership spotlight: Director – Partner Management

In this series we will hear from the Senior Leadership Team at Three about the latest activity across the company and a little about the people behind the projects.


Vital stats

  • Name: James Smith
  • Job title:             Director – Partner Management
  • Function:             Technology & Operations
  • Tenure: 17 years

Tell us a bit about your background


I am a Chartered Accountant by trade and joined Three shortly after launch, having worked previously in the oil and gas, manufacturing and technology industries in various corporate and commercial finance roles. In Three I supported the formation of our market leading 3G network share with T-Mobile and more recently led the acquisition of UK Broadband which put us in a unique spectrum position to launch our 5G network.


Describe your role and how it supports Three’s business objectives, in a nutshell


My team and I support the Technology & Operations function, managing our major technology partner contracts and relationships. Our partners are an extension of our business and critical to achieving our business outcomes. Through a combination of relationship management, operational efficiency and holding our partners to account in order to deliver a ‘best in class’ customer experience, we are able to confidently create, develop and maintain a highly valuable business function within Three UK.


What makes for a great partner relationship?


It’s really no different to any relationship in that you need open, honest and frequent dialogue and a clear understanding of each other’s goals and outcomes. It requires investment from both sides to nurture the relationship and build mutual trust whilst working together to problem solve, acknowledging that there will be times where compromise will be required in order to move forward. Getting this right is key to unlocking win-win opportunities which will ultimately move the partner relationship forward.

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