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BTopenworld's new CEO started work this week but is unlikely to make any immediate changes to the division's strategy.

Alison Ritchie, 41, is set to continue with the strategy implemented by former BTopenworld CEO, Andy Green, who replaced Alfred Mockett as CEO of BT Ignite.

Last autumn the telco's mass market Internet division decided to move away from providing a portal jammed with broadband content to one focused primarily on providing Internet access and supported by a handful of niche content destinations.

However, the appointment of Ms Ritchie - made on the Friday before Christmas - has raised a few eyebrows among those in the industry who comment that the timing of the announcement is unusual for such an important position.

Indeed, sources claim that Ms Ritchie was not BT's first choice for such a high profile job, although this has been denied by BT.

A spokesman for the company told The Register: "We looked internally and externally and Alison was our first choice. She has had a lengthy career with BT and has lots of skills and abilities."

Before becoming CEO Ms Ritchie was BT's Restructuring Project director, co-ordinating the project teams working on the financial, organisational and managerial restructuring of the company of BT.

According to her biography, she has an "extensive career history with BT, including roles in products and services management, regulation, procurement and sales". ®

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