Feeds

'They've just replaced one Sir Idiot with another'

The City, media and investors unimpressed by BT top-job change

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The City, media and everyday investors are not impressed with the announcement yesterday that Sir Iain Vallance was to step down as BT chairman and be replaced with current BBC governor Sir Christopher Bland.

One Internet poster appeared to capture the mood when he said "they have just replaced one Sir Idiot with another".

BT's share price fell 5.5 per cent on the news yesterday, wiping £2 billion off the company's value. It has continued to fall today and currently stands at 534p, down 3 per cent on yesterday - another £1 billion lopped off.

Media reports are nearly all hostile: "Bonfield faces the storm alone", "The £1m failure", "Can Bland of the BBC rescue BT?" and the consistently bland Independent goes with "BBC chairman Bland to succeed Vallance in the UK".

As you would expect there is heavy speculation, but these are the things that everyone agrees upon:

  • Vallance was right to go
  • BT will soon embark on some fund-raising to help cut its £30 billion debt
  • Bland is a no-nonsense leader
  • Bland has taken on one hell of a challenge
  • Bonfield's position still looks shaky as the last one of the old BT triumvirate

    Add to this the political whirlwind revolving around Bland's current position as BBC chairman - tied in, of course, to party politics because national journalists refuse to accept that anything happens without their chums in Parliament having something to do with it.

    The fact remains that by behaving like the arrogant monopolist of old, failing to seize the potential of the Internet, being too slow and cumbersome to tackle the mobile market as effectively as others, angering huge sectors of business by foot-dragging and trying to buy their way out of trouble, the BT top three made the unpardonable sin of causing share price to fall. Significantly.

    Sir Iain has seen shares fall from £15.03 to today's £5.34 during his chairmanship, but will still get a £600,000 pay-off with £333,000 pension plus his share options (worth £157,000) and will retain the "president emeritus" title until July next year.

    Finance director Robert Brace has paid the price for failing to deal with mounting debt, now Vallance has paid the price for not steering the BT supertanker away from the rocks early enough. Will Bonfield see his lack of foresight and vision rewarded in the same way? ®

    Related Story

    Vallance quits BT

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.