Hans Snook

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Hans Roger Snook (born 26 May 1948) is a businessman, best known for his time as the founder, with Graham Howe and Chief Executive of UK mobile phone company Orange.

Early life[edit]

He was born to a German mother and a British father, and grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he went to the University of British Columbia.


He then began a career in hotel management, which led him to Calgary for six years. In 1983, he set off on a round the world trip, which was cut short when he arrived in Hong Kong and became Chief Executive of a wireless paging business (which subsequently became part of the Hutchison Whampoa Group). In 1992 Snook was despatched to the UK and closed Hutchison's Rabbit phone system; and instead turned efforts to developing the UK's fourth mobile phone network.

On April 28, 1994 Orange was launched. Within five years Orange had developed an enviable reputation as well as a growing international presence.

He is known for introducing the famous tag-line the future's bright, the future's Orange.

Mannesmann of Germany purchased Orange Plc, in a failed attempt to challenge Vodafone as the World's leading mobile phone company. This set off a chain of events which resulted in France Télécom taking ownership of Orange, and in 2001 Snook stepped down as a special advisor to Orange. His public involvement since then in the UK telecoms industry was as Chairman of Carphone Warehouse, between 2002 and 2005 and on stepping down from this post he was appointed non-executive chairman of Monstermob Group Plc, the ringtone company.

Personal life[edit]

He was with his first wife, Etta, for 22 years until 2000, the same year he left Orange UK as Chief Executive. In 2000 he moved in with 34-year-old Helen Seward, a former Orange employee.

Business positions
Preceded by
Chief Executive of Orange (UK)
April 1994 – December 2000
Succeeded by
John Allwood