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Top bean counter to quit C&W

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The top bean counter at Cable & Wireless (C&W) is leaving the firm as part of far reaching restructuring at the head of the alternative telco.

Group CFO Charles Herlinger will only get his leaving present at the end of May once he's completed the last set of accounts.

His departure is part of an overhaul of the telco announced back in January. As part of that, C&W is to split into stand alone operations - International and UK - to "ensure dedicated management focus on the different financial and operational characteristics of each". The boards of both businesses will report to the board of C&W plc.

As previously announced, Francesco Caio will step down as group chief exec on 1 April.

Among the other changes announced today, non-exec director Tony Rice has accepted a new role of group MD, central and finance director, while a number of other execs - including senior independent director Graham Howe and group deputy chairman Rob Rowley - will retire later this year.

Chairman Richard Lapthorne said: "The changes announced today are designed to focus the organisation on the creation of shareholder value through delivering this improved performance by giving our operating managers the right balance of autonomy and accountability to drive value for the benefit of shareholders."

Four weeks ago C&W announced plans to axe half its UK workforce and ditch thousands of customers as part of its restructuring plans. C&W employs around 5,500 people in the UK (including Energis, the telco it bought last year) but this number is to fall by between 2,500 and 3,500 over the next four or five years with around 350 jobs going this year alone.

At the same time, C&W is planning to shed thousands of customers "as part of the reshaping of its UK business". As it stands, the telco has about 30,000 customers, but wants to cut this to around 3,000 large corporates and public institutions. ®

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