Broadband

Who owns TalkTalk?

network cable
Bad company? TalkTalk is now in private hands

TalkTalk is not a well loved company. It’s got the least satisfied customers from all of the major broadband providers that regulator Ofcom surveys. If you’re annoyed with TalkTalk’s service, you might want to vent your anger at the company’s big wigs. But who owns TalkTalk?

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The TalkTalk owners

In late 2020, TalkTalk was sold to a company called Toscafund Asset Management. It was previously a publicly limited company, but the deal valued at £1.1 billion took the company back into private hands.

Toscafund Asset Management’s chief executive is a chap called Martin Hughes – a man nicknamed “The Rottweiler” – so good luck if you’re planning to write to him to complain about your shoddy broadband service. TalkTalk’s current chief executive is Tristia Harrison, who has worked her way up through the company. If you want to reach her, the concerns@talktalkplc.com email address would seem to be your best bet.

TalkTalk was previously fronted by Sir Charles Dunstone, the man who launched The Carphone Warehouse, which acquired TalkTalk in 2003. It’s reported that he retains a substantial stake in TalkTalk.

TalkTalk’s former chief executives include Dido Harding, the woman who has taken an awful lot of flak for her running of the government’s Test and Trace programme during the Covid crisis. She resigned from TalkTalk in 2017, just over a year after the company suffered a massive data leak, after which Harding was forced to confess on television that she didn’t know if customers’ data had been encrypted or not (not all of it was). The fiaso cost the company 95,000 customers and £60 million, and earned it a huge fine from the Information Commissioner.

TalkTalk is undoubtedly one of the cheapest broadband providers in Britain, but also proof of the old maxim: you get what you pay for.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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  • I am not surprised Tristia Harrison does not publish her email address. I am sure that Dido Harding was inundated with complaint emails.

  • I’m currently with OVO who are selling out to Talk Talk. Is it worth me looking for a new provider now, or wait and see if their service has improved?

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