01 May 1998

A MASSIVE upheaval is in process at BT following the exit of divisional managing directors Rupert Gavin and Peter Erskine. High on group managing director Bill Cockburn’s list is a major overhaul of the marketing structure - seemingly pulling in opposite directions in recent months. Cockburn is said to favour a return to the centralised co-ordination of marketing activity- a policy that went to the wall last year when BT disbanded its centralised customer communications unit. BT has since been criticised for failing to deliver a consistent message across its many brands and four divisions - business, consumer, global and corporate. The telecoms giant is currently striving to balance its central communications strategy with separate (and sometimes opposing) business goals. Insiders say that a new unified marketing division is being formed, with a single managing director and marketing director. Cockburn is thought likely to assume the former role and a number of BT’s top marketing brass are jockeying for position for the latter job.