Telewest Boss Quits With £500K Payoff

23 February 2004

'In all labour there is profit,' says the Bible.

With which maxim Charles Burdick (53), former managing director of Telewest, would wholeheartedly agree following his departure from the company last week with a payoff of £500,000 ($931,000; €735,210).

The same, however, is far from true for US-owned Telewest which operates solely in the UK. Under Burdick's reign, initially as finance director from 1996 then managing director from August 2002, the company slid into near insolvency and a massive debt for equity restructuring programme.

The latter, due for completion within the next few weeks, will see bondholders (prominent among whom is US cable tycoon John Malone) seizing control of the company at the expense of shareholders who will be left with just 1.5% of the new equity.

US cable veteran Barry Elson -- initially slated to take over from Anthony 'Cob' Stenham as Telewest chairman -- has been appointed acting chief executive, a hotseat heavily insulated with share options. It is now uncertain whether Stenham will stand down on completion of the restructuring -- that being the bondholders' original intention.

Burdick was unavailable for comment, although a company spokesman insisted his abrupt exit had not been triggered by boardroom infighting.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff