Feeds

Patricia Hewitt joins BT as non-exec director

MP and telecom sitting in a tree

Boost IT visibility and business value

Patricia Hewitt is to join BT later this month as a non-executive director, boosting her salary by a healthy £60,000.

The appointment of the former Secretary of State for both Trade and Health into one of Britain's largest private companies muddies the water between politics and business.

As a politician, Hewitt was closely involved with BT, although their relationship was not always cordial.

The Leicester West MP was instrumental in the creation of Ofcom, the all-in-one regulator for telecoms and the media, while she was head of the DTI. Not only did she help establish the Ofcom constitution, but she also appointed its chairman Lord Currie.

Ofcom took a far tougher approach to BT than its predecessor, Oftel. The regulator was quick to insist that BT must structurally separate its local loop division from the rest of the company; a brave move which left governments and regulators around the rest of the world watching with interest.

Hewitt was also responsible for relieving BT of nearly £5bn for its 3G licence at the height of the dotcom boom. It gave that licence up just one year later as it spun off its mobile activities, which became O2.

The Aussie-born 59-year-old was also closely involved with BT while she was Health Secretary.

During her tenure, BT won several contracts for the troubled NHS National Programme for IT, a multi-billion pound technology project for which the costs have spiralled.

Among its contract wins, BT won the right to build the national data spine, work which is much delayed and has been subjected to wide-ranging security concerns from privacy campaigners.

Major appointments of politicians into the business world are overseen by a parliamentary group, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which have approved Hewitt's move. She has, however, been asked not to lobby government until June - 12 months after she quit as Health Minister.

Hewitt already holds positions at two private companies: Boots, the high street chemist chain, and private equity company Cinven, which also has interests in the health sector through its ownership of BUPA's UK hospitals.

Through her additional three roles, she is guaranteed to remain firmly in the public spotlight as both a politician and a businesswoman. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?