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

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.