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BT appoints new CEO

Verwaayen brings Dutch courage to telco

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The Arsenal-supporting vice chairman of Lucent, Ben Verwaayen, is to succeed Sir Peter Bonfield as CEO of BT.

A Dutch national, Mr Verwaayen will start work at BT on January 14 but won't become CEO until February 1 when Sir Peter finally stands down.

In a statement, Mr Verwaayen, 49, said: "I am thrilled to be joining the BT Group at this point because the company has such exciting possibilities going forward.

"With clear focus, determination and the breadth of talents within the company I am sure BT can and will deliver to its customers, shareholders and employees.

"BT undoubtedly has a great future and I'm going to enjoy being part of it," he said.

Mr Verwaayen joined Lucent in September 1997 as executive vice president international and became chief operating officer the following month. He became vice chairman in October 1999.

Before joining Lucent he worked at Dutch telco, KPN, for ten years as president and MD of its telecoms subsidiary, PTT Telecom.

He is a soccer fan and supports Arsenal. Unfortunately, the Gunners lost 4-0 to Blackburn in the League Cup last night. ®

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