Virgin Media strategy boutique boss quits

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Virgin Media's managing director of strategy has quit in an ongoing shake-up of top brass, as the firm bids to make broadband cable's biggest selling point.

Staff were told yesterday that Ernie Cormier has decided to part ways with Virgin Media in the new year. The departure of customer care chief Steve Stewart at about the same time had already been announced.

Acting CEO Neil Berkett signalled changes at Virgin Media after a terrible six months of poor financials, a public defeat by Sky over pay TV rights, and the subsequent departure of is predecessor Steve Burch. The latest numbers suggested subscribers are returning to cable, however.

Berkett's wheeze is to put faster-than-ADSL broadband front and centre of its quadruple-play offering, and he aims to offer 50Mbit/s downloads across the cable network by the end of 2008. A Virgin Media spokesman said an unrelated review of its bandwidth-throttling policy is ongoing, but no details are available on the changes being considered.

The current "traffic management" policies are here.

The Times also reports that Virgin Media's top beancounter Jacques Kerrest is out of contract, and City grumbles that he might be next for the high jump. The group said contract talks were continuing. ®

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