Virgin Media: Managing reward following merger

Entertainment organisation, Virgin Media, is emerging from a period of major organisational restructuring, dating back to its formation out of a merger in 2006 of Telewest and ntl and then the acquisition of Virgin Mobile in 2007. This restructuring has presented huge challenges of integration, and has taken place in the context of significant changes in the senior leadership team, conflicting policies that were not always aligned to business values and major differences in the terms and conditions, job titles and roles and reward policies of the merged operations.

In this case study, researched and written by e-reward, we examine:

  • The business context and challenges Virgin Media faced - in particular, the implications for managing and rationalising the disparate reward arrangements across the three companies that came together in the newly merged organisation so that everyone could be treated fairly and the reward system would be transparent.

  • The “road map” used by the company, designed to make the newly merged organisation “simply brilliant”.

  • How senior management buy-in was secured and the role played by a Business Engagement Group.

  • The introduction of a job family structure comprising 15 job families, each with three levels, a descriptor and a series of generic role profiles. This was the third and final stage of a complex roll out (phases one and two concentrated on the senior levels of management).

  • The involvement and consultation process.

  • The support provided to line managers.

  • New performance management arrangements.

  • The lessons learnt.





Overview and organisation profile

Emerging from a merger:

  • Differing benefits and terms and conditions

  • Differing job titles and roles

  • Pay policy and a debt burden

Road map to being “simply brilliant”

Job families and the birth of “Pathfinder”

Starting with executives

Employee forum has key role

Management champions

Developing “Pathfinder”

BEG is born

Consultation mid-2010

Transition arrangements:

  • Removal of legacy perk cars and perk car allowances

  • Removal of private fuel benefit

  • Healthcare standardised

  • Bonuses linked to job role

Individual consultation

Supporting line managers

Performance management

“Where are we now?”

Lessons learnt 


  • Virgin Media’s reward vision and philosophy

  • Reward opportunities: Line manager education module


  • Job families at Virgin Media – levels, descriptors and typical generic roles

  • Personal performance scale 2010

  • Reward framework progress

  • Pathfinder and the introduction of job families