BT names Danon successor

Hires from within, saves on recruitment fees

BT group finance director Ian Livingston is to replace BT Retail chief exec Pierre Danon, who leaves the telco next year.

Livingston, 40, has been a member of the telco's board since April 2002. Before joining BT he was FD at high street retailer Dixons. The job of Group FD goes to Hanif Lalani, 42, who is currently CFO of BT Wholesale. Both men will take up their new positions in February.

In a statement BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland said: "It is proof of the strength of BT's management that we have been able to make two such senior appointments from within the company. Ian's experience will be an important addition to managing our large retail operation, and I am delighted to welcome Hanif to the Board in a position for which his previous roles at BT make him exceptionally well-qualified."

The fact that both appointments come from within could be another indication that BT is about to shake-up its internal structure in response to Ofcom's call for "substantive behavioural and organisational changes".

Chief exec Ben Verwaayen said that the appointments "give a great basis on which to look to the future structure of BT Group". One suggestion is that BT Retail and BT Global Services could be rolled into one, creating a standalone division at arms length from BT Wholesale.

A spokesman for BT said no decision had been made about the future structure of the group.

Danon announced last month his move to Cap Gemini. Although the move was spun as a promotion for Danon, his departure has been linked with an internal power struggle and dogged by reports of a boardroom rift over the future direction of BT. ®

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