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Orange UK's chief exec gets shuffled

Has ex-CEO been tangoed?

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Bernard Ghillebaert, chief executive of Orange UK, is to step down from his post after a management shake-up by parent firm France Telecom.

France Telecom announced today that Tom Alexander, a Brit from outside the group, will take over. Ghillebaert meanwhile will "be fulfilling a new group level role as executive vice president of sales and customer experience".

[Does that mean he's working in a call centre? - Ed]

According to the Financial Times, Ghillebaert commented this summer that the Orange brand had lost its "sparkle", since all its ideas had been nicked by the competition. No word from Orange as to whether his remarks had contributed to his downfall.

Ghillebaert is not the first high profile exec to swap jobs in recent times. Last month, Eric Abensur left his position as head of Orange's broadband business "by mutual consent".

The news of Ghillebaert's departure follows an announcement from the telco that profitabilty is in decline. The firm said operating profit for the six months to 30 June fell 8.6 per cent to €712m. Profit for 2006 was down 17.1 per cent to €1.4bn. ®

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