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BT Engage IT big boss goes on whistlestop tour of offices

Staff worried job cutting to continue under new regime

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BT Engage IT says its new chief exec has already done the rounds at the majority of its sites since taking control of the business a little more than a week ago.

Richard Lowe was ushered into the big chair after John Thornhill left the telco two weeks ago, after 24 years of working in various roles there. There were claims from BT sources at the time that Thornhill had been shown the door, though the firm would not confirm this.

A BT spokeswoman said the new top dog has been visiting the troops across the UK.

"Rich Lowe has visited four out of five sites in his first five days in post, and will be going to the other one [this week]," the BT PR representative told The Channel.

Morale is low among some of the 1,000-plus strong staff base following several rounds of job cuts since the merger of units BT Engage, BT Business Direct and dabs.com last year, insiders claim.

But clearly some staff in BT Engage's operation want more than an official visit from the new boss to assuage fears of further cost-cutting measures.

Concerns among some seem to centre on the Performance Improvement Plans (PIPS) which they claim is a measure to reduce the number of folk on the sales floor by "stealth".

"It's just an easy way to fire staff. Half the sales forces are on three month [programme] due to end early September," claimed a BT insider.

"Everyone is very curious about the strategy going forward," added the source.

BT told The Channel that talk of further job cuts was purely "rumour and speculation". ®

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