Feeds

BT finance director quits

And the share price soars

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Finally. Following months of heavy criticism from the media, City and shareholders, BT's finance director Robert Brace has resigned. The announcement immediately put EIGHT per cent on BT's share price, meaning his departure was worth around £4 billion.

Brace ostensibly wants a change - he's been at BT for 11 years - and intends to head off to North America, although he has no job as yet. He will leave in December and receive £300,000 in compensation. He'll be replaced by Philip Hampton, from that other former "British" monopoly, British Gas.

The news, on top of heavy speculation that another of the BT triumvirate, chairman Sir Iain Vallance, is to leave his job early, comes as a great relief and is clear evidence that even the most blinkered, arrogant senior execs are now longer immune to market pressures. All that's left is Sir Peter Bonfield, BT's chief exec.

All three are to blame for BT's fall from grace, from world leader to pack chaser. A failure to recognise the market was changing with or without BT and a complete inability to grasp the Internet's importance has wiped billions of the company's worth and even made it look like a takeover prospect.

As finance director, Brace should never have allowed the debt burden to increase so enormously. He continued to spend heavily with the arrogant assumption that BT was invincible, yet failed to balance it by selling or floating off divisions. And it's not as if he wasn't given enough hints by the City. Now, BT's borrowing potential has taken a big hit which may prevent it from snapping up some future bargains. His departure was, fortunately, inevitable.

Vallance is just as much to blame. As Chairman, he should have been looking after BT's health. But it was only when the patient collapsed that he realised how sick it was. Again, the arrogant silence following shareholders' vocal criticisms is enough to deprive him of the job.

And so that leaves Bonfield, who we blame for BT's utter failure to grasp the Internet. As chief exec he should be looking forward and seeing where the future lies. But instead he prefers to look back to a time when BT could control the market by simply fronting people. Only the chief exec could adjust BT's resistive culture and build a more efficient, flexible company. And so far he has shown no intention of doing so.

These three have turned a company of national pride into a manifestation of what is wrong with British business. The sooner they are all gone, the better for BT and the better for Britain. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.