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New man at the top to push Freeserve IPO

Dixons’ financial whizz kid takes reins at ISP

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Dixons has made John Pluthero chief executive of Freeserve less than 24 hours after announcing that the company was exploring the option of selling off its subscription-free Internet business. His appointment -- coupled with yesterday' announcement -- suggests that Dixons is serious about making the most of its Internet investment, although sources close to Freeserve were not in a position to say any more than had already been officially released. The 35-year-old chartered accountant joined Dixons Stores Group in 1993 with a background in finance, consultancy and strategy. Last year -- as Dixons' corporate development director -- he moulded Dixons' Internet strategy and was the brain behind the launch of Freeserve. As the CEO of Freeserve he will oversee general manager Mark Danby who has done so much to promote the service over the last six months. Although Danby is a keen sportsman and regularly flies off to the slopes to engage in his passion for snowboarding, it is unknown whether his new boss shares the same appetite for extreme sports. ®

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