February 28, 2021
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KCom business leader calls time on 32-year career with Hull comms giant

business-live– A key constant in KCom’s emergence as a tech pioneer has called time on his career with the company.

Sean Royce, managing director of the retail business and the technology lead within the Hull giant, said he is ready for a new challenge – and keen to prove he’s no “one trick pony.”

The hugely respected executive joined the business as a graduate trainee, was front and centre of the 1999 flotation, then wrote the plan and executed the roll-out for full fibre broadband – literally putting the city ‘light’ years ahead of the rest of the UK.

Mr Royce said: “I have done 32 years, and while in the midst of it all it doesn’t seem that long, what I didn’t want to do was work for 40 years, get a gold clock and think ‘I’ve never done anything else – am I a one trick pony’?

“I’ve had quite a lot of success at KCom and lockdown gave me a different perspective – detached from work to a certain extent, I have had more time to reflect, and in late summer I thought it was a good time to prove I’m not a one trick pony and I can do something else.

“KCom is a wonderful company, at the heart of the community, a special unique place and the owners, the board, have got a very good executive team, with exciting plans. I just felt it was time to hand the baton on.”

He approached chief executive Dale Raneberg and early in the new year was settled on for his departure, having served as finance director for the regional and national business and gone on to be managing director for the technology, services and operations elements prior to being made executive vice president in 2016.

The ardent Hull City fan is now putting more into his role as chair of the charitable Tigers Trust, his directorship at tech hub C4DI while “looking to run a business in the tech space, use my experience and ability to see if I can be a success”.

He has already had a couple of conversations this past week, having officially left the role last Friday.

Mr Raneberg said: “Sean has been a key part of the team at KCom after developing and advancing through a successful career since joining the company as a trainee through to his years holding senior executive roles leading both our technology team and our retail business.

“We are all grateful for his contribution to the business in different roles and his commitment and loyalty to the company over many years of service.

“I am personally sorry to see Sean leave KCom, but I am also excited for him to take his skills and experience gained at the company on to new challenges.”

The legacy of the 1904 launch of Hull Corporation Telephone Department, Kingston Communications was famed for the cream telephone boxes. Now it is full fibre broadband five years ahead of government plans.

An initial share offering saw original owner Hull City Council raise £260 million from the flotation, as the last of the 13 local authorities awarded operator licences to still be in business. It went to the London Stock Exchange aware of the huge infrastructure costs emerging as Britain went digital, with the initial listing valuing it at £788.6 million.

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