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Jimmy Wales to lead The People’s Operator

20 Jan 2014

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to lead mobile phone network The People’s Operator
Innovative business model to create global community where share of customers’ bills and company profits go to good causes


The mobile network, The People’s Operator (TPO), today announced that the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has been appointed to the board of the Company and has taken a strategic stake in the business. As Co-Chair, he will be involved in all activities of the business and his principal role will be to drive the growth of a global community that connects as a force for good.


The People’s Operator was launched in the United Kingdom in November 2012 as a for-profit business with the aim of driving future revenues, a percentage of which would then be distributed to good causes. The more revenue that is generated, the more money will be available for distribution. TPO passes 10% of each customer’s bill directly to causes chosen by the customer. In addition, 25% of the Company’s profits will go to the TPO Foundation, which will distribute them to good causes.


The Company, which is based in East London's Tech City, is able to offer highly competitive customer deals through savings on marketing and other central corporate costs.  TPO is an online proposition and its growth is based on positive recommendations. As a result of low customer acquisition costs, customers get competitive pricing while contributing to good causes at no cost to themselves.


TPO is trademarked in key markets around the world and it intends to launch its business next in the United States. 


Speaking at DLD14 in MunichJimmy Wales said:


“TPO puts customers and the causes they care about first. With over 4 billion mobile phone subscribers forecast for 2016 worldwide, TPO has huge potential for viral growth and the more it grows, the more money will pass to the people and communities that need it.  Only a small percentage in global take up will make a massive difference to people’s lives. Just as Wikipedia grew virally as communities wanted to work together to liberate knowledge, so I believe TPO will grow in a similar way as communities work together to support good causes across the globe.” 


Andrew RosenfeldFounder and Co-Chair of TPO, said:


“The TPO philosophy is to share its success with those who really need it. Donating to good causes through commercial success, and empowering the customer is an idea whose time has now come. This is why I'm so excited that Jimmy, who used the power of communities to change the world, is taking the lead at TPO to do the same again.” 



Notes to editors / About TPO

25% of TPO’s profits pass to the TPO Foundation which is Chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly the former Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. 


Individual and corporate subscribers to TPO can also direct 10% of their monthly spend on calls, text and data to a chosen charity or organisation.


TPO is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator running on the UK’s biggest network EE giving coverage to 99% of the United Kingdom.


TPO is privately funded by its majority shareholder Andrew Rosenfeld.


TPO was founded by:


Andrew RosenfeldCo-Chair of TPO


A British businessman who was Founder, Chief Executive and Chairman of Real Estate group Minerva plc, which was founded with an issued share capital of £70,200. Rosenfeld stepped down as Chairman when the Company was valued at around £600 million. He was one of the first entrepreneurs to predict the collapse of the UK real estate market in 2007. He was head of the NSPCC's FULL STOP campaign, raising £250 million, which is the largest sum ever raised in Britain for a single children's appeal. 


Mark EpsteinCEO of TPO: Co-founder and CEO of Mass1 Ltd, one of the UK’s leading digital communication companies.


Tom Gutteridge: Co-founder of Mass1 Ltd with Mark Epstein.


Jimmy Wales Twitter: @jimmy_wales