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BT retail boss Pierre Danon is jumping ship to take the top job at Cap Gemini. The move to chief operating officer of the IT services company is a promotion for Danon and sees him return to France.

Danon joined BT as chief executive of BT Retail, BT's consumer facing division, in October 2000 and was appointed to the board in November 2001. During that time he has been forced to protect BT's sliding market share against fierce competition from rival operators.

Despite this, he has overseen "a significant increase in profits and cash flow within BT Retail...[while] costs have been reduced by £800m" said the telco in a statement.

But his tenure at BT has not been without incident. Most recently, there were widespread reports of a rift between Danon and the company's other bigwigs - chairman Sir Christopher Bland and group chief exec Ben Verwaayen - over future strategy.

Even though the company denied there was any tension at the top, reports emerged of boardroom rows. In January Mr Danon was linked to an "increasingly acrimonious power struggle" at the company.

His departure, expected to be early in the new year, comes at a testing time for BT, which has been given just three months to change the way it operates or face the threat of being broken up.

Commenting on Danon's departure, one employee told The Register: "I have only met Pierre a few times but have found his leadership clear, his focus undiminished and his success generally positive."

Another insider told us: "He won't be missed." ®

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