21st April 2023

A Look Back At How My Career Unfolded With Vodafone

Elizabeth Rumsey
Senior Global Product Manager

My current role at Vodafone is an exhilarating challenge because it's at the cutting edge of 5G technology. As Head of Product Management for Mobile Private Networks (MPN), I lead a team bringing innovative products to market and developing a consistent, scalable offering across Vodafone’s global footprint. We’re focused mainly on Europe, but we work on customer opportunities all over the world.

On any given day I'm regularly on calls with people from many different countries. This past year we have been launching our MPN 2.0 product across our largest operating companies, starting in the UK last summer, and I’ve also been working with local market colleagues Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

My team sits at the heart of a global MPN community within Vodafone. Local MPN product managers act as my guides into their specific market processes and help me shape the go-to-market plans that are tailored to the customers and competitive dynamics in each. MPN is a big part of our wider 5G story, so it's rewarding to engage with industry analysts on such a hot strategic topic across the wider communications sector. It also provides me with the opportunity to speak at external conferences and other forums.

My Vodafone story

I frequently joke that I have the most unusual professional background in Vodafone. I started my career on an investment banking graduate scheme, working in M&A, then moved into venture capital. Next came a Head of Finance role in a space tourism start-up. Eventually I joined Vodafone in a role pricing large, complex contracts for our multinational customers, leveraging my valuation skills learned through my wider finance background.

From there Vodafone has allowed me to move through various roles, gaining a wide breadth of experience. This has set me up brilliantly to be an effective global product leader in some cutting-edge areas like MEC and MPN. Prior to Product, I worked on several special projects with cross-functional teams - at one point, I even managed our HR workstream for our CEO-sponsored global customer experience excellence programme.

Ultimately, I’ve had quite a departure from my roots in building financial models, but in every role I’ve ever had, I’ve leveraged the commercial acumen, project management skills and attention to detail I gained in those early years.


I've worked here for over a decade now and have enjoyed celebrating many achievements with my teams. Once I won a Shine award, which sent me on a week-long, all expenses paid trip to a 5-star resort in Malaysia where we chartered a whole Voda-plane, which was certainly a memorable experience.

However, I feel that my biggest achievement was in June 2021 when my team made Vodafone the first operator to launch multi-access edge computing (MEC) on a European public mobile network. We are still the only operator to have launched in more than one country, so I’m particularly proud to have played a key leadership role in that delivery.

I feel fortunate to have worked in such a broad and challenging set of roles whilst maintaining the work-life balance and support that allows me to be an active mother, wife, daughter, and friend. That comes down to our culture, and a commitment to diversity and allowing people to bring their full selves to work that comes from the very top.

As a woman who joined Vodafone almost fresh off my maternity leave with my son, I'm particularly grateful for our 2,000+ member Women in Business network, as well as other networks such as VodABILITY which has provided valuable advice and support to me as the mother of a child with both dyslexia and dyscalculia.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go and the consistent thing they miss after Vodafone is the people. Staying at Vodafone for so long has been in part due to the continuous opportunities to develop myself professionally, but it’s also been just as much about working with people who have become friends as well as colleagues.