Feeds

Bonfield acknowledges his Concert failure

Forgot you have to pay for infrastructure outside the UK

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Sir Peter Bonfield has acknowledged his failure as chief exec of BT to bring the money-burning monster that was Concert under control.

"What we did not anticipate was the huge reduction in pricing as a huge amount of capital went into international traffic," Bonfield said on a conference call today discussing the final break-up of the AT&T joint venture. "We did not take out costs fast enough in Concert."

It doesn't look like much but we read this as a tacit admission by Sir Pete of his inability to foresee where Concert was going, what effect that would have on BT, that BT's effort to become an international telco was doomed and that he has hopelessly mishandled the situation ever since he first became aware of the fact it was all a bad idea.

It has taken new chairman Sir Christopher Bland to really push the split-up of Concert through. And at no small cost either - £1.2 billion in fact. But at least Bland had the balls to make a decision and go with it.

Is Pete going through a period of reflection? Re-evaluating his performance as head of BT before he finally leaves the path free for someone else? Can we expect more acknowledgements of his failures?

We hope so, and here are our top three Bonfield BT cock-ups in case he needs any help.

  • His abject inability to see how important the Internet would become to BT and the UK in general. As witnessed in years of BT stalling and arguments. Spent more time explaining why everyone was wrong than actually seeing where his company ought to go. Famously told a conference that people would have to go to night schools if they wanted to use the Internet - because it would be too expensive for most.

  • His abject inability to see how important mobile phones would become to BT and the UK in general. Manifested itself in a series of extremely late, small and foolish stakes taken out in mobile companies in Europe and the Far East. These had to be sold off around a year later as BT's debt became unmanageable and everyone realised a minority stake holding was useless if you were hoping to build a worldwide brand.
  • His abject inability to see that his blinkered views were ruining BT, creating a culture of arrogance and inertia and had ultimately turned a company that could have been a world beater into a dinosaur requiring massive restructuring to keep itself alive. ®
Related Story
Concert ends - no applause

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.