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Tiscali UK confirms cull

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Tiscali UK has finally - finally - confirmed its has culled half its staff.

As reported by The Register between 250 and 300 people have got the chop. Even now, Tiscali will not confirm exact numbers, except to say that its UK workforce will be cut by half by July 2001.

El Reg also reported the appointments of Sergio Cellini (the former CEO of Excite Italia) as CEO of Tiscali UK and the appointment of former LineOne MD, Mary Turner, as the new MD of Tiscali's B2C ISP in the UK.

That, though, is now history.

Next week, El Reg intends to publish stories from employees themselves about what really went on during the last couple of months. It's become clear that the process of integration was run in a climate of fear, mistrust and obfuscation.

It's emerged that LineOne and its staff are effectively running the new Tiscali UK operation, and most of LibertySurf and WorldOnline have been wiped out.

Until recently, WorldOnline staff thought they were going to be the dominant player in this new relationship. The fact that they have been elbowed aside by the arrival of LineOne on the scene has left many bitter with the way they have been treated. Some are even keen on revenge.

Anyhow more of that next week.

In the mean time, feast your eyes on this rarity. It is an official press release from Tiscali UK. There won't be much in here you don't already know because El Reg has already covered it. But as far as "public relations" from Tiscali goes, it's a one-off.

NEW STRUCTURE FOR TISCALI IN THE UK

London, 1 June 2001. Tiscali announces the completion of its integration of new acquisitions World Online UK, LibertySurf UK and LineOne into Tiscali UK. From 17 June 2001, all staff will operate from a single headquarters in Artillery Lane, under new management which has recently been joined by managers from the newly-acquired companies.

Sergio Cellini, formerly CEO of Excite Italia, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Tiscali UK, while Stéphane Huet, until recently head of LibertySurf UK, will be Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the activities of the company's technical and B2B divisions.

The B2B division is headed up by Quentin Birchall whose appointment has been confirmed. Mary Turner, currently Managing Director at Line One, has been appointed Managing Director of the B2C division. Other appointments include Michael Hill, as CFO, and Sue Taylor, as HR director.

Meanwhile, Simon Preston, who managed the UK business as CEO during the integration period, will take on a new role at Tiscali's international headquarters, where he will be involved in the development of corporate strategy.

As previously announced, the integration of Tiscali's new acquisitions in the UK will involve a reorganisation of staff, among other measures, to eliminate overlap or duplication of roles and improve operational and cost efficiency. As a result, Tiscali plans to halve staff numbers by the end of July 2001.

Tiscali UK is now ready to strengthen its market position through new commercial and marketing strategies, projecting strong growth in all business lines - internet access, portal and B2B - under the Tiscali brand. The company also plans to develop its own IP network in the near future, improving the profitability of its business model and taking advantage of Tiscali's pan-European network.

THE NEW MANAGEMENT:
Sergio Cellini, CEO. Sergio Cellini was born in Milan. He has extensive international-level experience in the telecoms and new media sectors, working for Booz Allen & Hamilton and Editoriale L’Espresso publishing group, and as Managing Director of Newspaper Publishing (publisher of The Independent). Sergio Cellini has also worked for Telecom Italia, as Head of Venture Capital, and was subsequently appointed CEO of Excite Italia.

Stéphane Huet, COO. Stéphane Huet began his career at Lucent Technologies, where he worked as Marketing Director, first in France and then in Slovakia. He then moved to Hewlett-Packard, where he was Project Director for Central Europe, and then Senior Telecoms Consultant. In September 1999, Stéphane Huet moved to LibertySurf as International Director, responsible for business development in the UK, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia. He was then appointed UK Country Manager, to enable him to monitor the restructuring process more closely.

Mary Turner, Managing Director B2C. Mary Turner began her career with Ernst & Young, and then took on roles with increasing responsibility at Elizabeth Arden, Avon Cosmetics, NES Arnold and Innovation Group. She joined AOL Bertelsmann/Compuserve in 1994, first as Marketing Director, before being appointed General Manager. Mary Turner moved to Springboard Internet Services (LineOne) in 1999 as Managing Director.

Quentin Birchall, Managing Director Business Services. Quentin Birchall began his career at Gruppo Ocean before moving to Shell, where he held a number of positions in sales, marketing and customer services and in the Commercial and Retail division. He then worked for Telinco, a telephony/ISP start-up, first as Sales & Marketing Director and later as Managing Director Business Services, where he remained after the company was acquired by World Online. ®

Related Stories

Employees demonstrate outside WorldOnline offices
Tiscali to launch mobile phone service
Tiscali UK cull about to begin
Head of Excite Italy to run Tiscali UK
Tiscali to axe 300 jobs in UK
LineOne bosses to head Tiscali's UK ISP
World Online/Tiscali begins 'massacre of UK employees'

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