01 January 1999

A MAJOR MANAGEMENT restructure is under way at Dixons Stores Group which many believe could lead to the flotation of its new free Internet access service. With subscribers topping 900,000 Freeserve, now the UK’s biggest web portal, is to become a separate company chaired by Dixons’ chief executive John Clare, with general manager Mark Danby responsible for day-to-day management. DSG is also dividing its other main retail businesses -’ Dixons, Currys and PC World - into three discrete groups, each headed by a managing director plus supporting team. The three mds are Jonathan Hart (Dixons), David Gilbert (Currys) and David Hamid (PC World; each will also serve on a new executive committee alongside group finance di-rector Ian Livingston and DSG’s human resources director. The quintet is charged with ‘steering the strategic growth’ of DSG over the next five years. A Dixons spokesman played-down suggestions that the revamp presages the public flotation of Freeserve: ‘That is entirely a matter of speculation. We intend to commit re-sources to it in order to keep it as the UK’s fastest-growing Internet access provider.’