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BT is sniffing around for a new chairman, according to a report by The Observer.

The monster telco has put out "informal feelers" for someone to replace Sir Christopher Bland who is due to step down from the company in 2007.

However, reports the Sunday newspaper, if the right person could be found to take over sooner then Bland would be happy to leave next year.

If the report is true, then anybody stepping into Bland's shoes would have to oversee the early development of Openreach, BT's new network access division.

And his successor would also have to begin the task of finding a replacement for chief exec Ben Verwaayen, who could be on his way in 2008.

A spokesman for BT declined to comment on the story but confirmed that "the chairman is due to leave BT in 2007". ®

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