Andrew Salmon, the ex-CEO of uSwitch.com experienced many challenges in his career but none was as exciting or as profitable as the 2006 takeover of internet start-up uSwitch.com by US media giant Scripps back in 2006.
Salmon played a crucial role in the successful sale of the internet company in 2006 by the US based firm, which ultimately positioned the company favourably for the future.
Andrew Salmon Positioned uSwitch as the leading Energy Price Comparison business in the UK
Mr Salmon´s leadership guaranteed the company´s future as the number one energy price comparison website in the UK.
Andrew Salmon led uSwitch for eight years. Throughout this time, he helped to transform the business from a small internet start-up company, created and run by seven people, into one of the UK’s leading price comparison and switching services for utilities, communications and personal finance.
The £210m sale in 2006 which Andrew Salmon secured enabled the company to further strengthen its position in the highly competitive UK market.
The origins of uSwitch
uSwitch was set up when the internet was just starting to take off in the year 2000. In fact it was the perfect time to take a risk in what was a very immature market.
Salmon was not even 30 at this stage, but he already had a top position with a leading Energy company at the time.
It was at EDF Energy, where he started looking into new, more innovative ways of selling EDF’s products, rather than relying on costly traditional sales channels, such as cold calling or door to door sales.
He teamed up with George Milford Haven and both business leaders saw a gap in the market.
Salmon engineered a way to offer consumers the ability to use a free and impartial internet based service to compare energy tariffs and find the ones that where most suited to their needs. While creating a cheaper and more effective channel for energy providers to sell their products.
The aim was to help customers take advantage of the best tariffs and services on offer from every supplier. To do this, the company developed its own price comparison calculators, which evaluated several factors including price, location, service and payment method, and advised consumers on the best deal to suit their needs.
Andrew Salmon Built Up an Influential Network
Thanks to his networking skills, Salmon teamed up with some high net worth business associates and managed to grow the business substantially, which eventually led to the sale of the company in 2006.
CEO Andrew Salmon was at uSwitch since its inception in September 2000. The company started as a service allowing consumers to compare prices and switch energy providers, after the deregulation of the consumer energy market in the U.K. Today, uSwitch.com is one of the leading price comparison and switching services in the UK. It offers an impartial online and telephone-based service that helps consumers to compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, mobile phone, broadband, digital television, car insurance and personal finance products.
The Secret to Andrew Salmon’s Success
One of Mr Salmon’s key attributes is his strategic vision and the insight gained from a varied career in top companies like Ofgem and EDF. He also acted as a corporate finance manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. This mix of skills enabled him to have a unique vision for the internet start-up.
His solid economics and finance background (Salmon holds a BA Economics degree from the University of Plymouth and an MA in Finance and Investment from University of York) were important too.
This mixed bag of expertise has made him a key player in the UK Internet industry over the past two decades.
The sale of uSwitch to US media firm EW Scripps for a reported £210m, was the biggest internet deal in the UK since the £175m sale of Friends Reunited to ITV .
uSwitch was sold for more than double the £100m some market observers thought the company would sell for.
Andrew Salmon then stayed on as CEO of the company to grow it even further until 2008.