UK Telecom Titan to Sacrifice Jobs on the Altar of Earnings

26 April 2007

LONDON: In a strategy likely to shake BT Group's culture to its core, chief executive Ben Verwaayen aims to transform the former state-owned telecoms monopoly from a stagnating fixed-line vendor into a world-class IT services specialist.

His strategy, intended to bring broadband and software products to market more quickly, will be overseen by the former chief executive of BT Global Services, Andy Green, who as ceo of Group Strategy and Operations will head two new business units.

BT Design will be responsible for the design and development of new services; and BT Operate will be responsible for their deployment and operation.

Between them the two new entities will design and operate services across the world to meet the needs of BT Retail, BT Global Services, BT Wholesale, Openreach and the wider communications industry.

Approximately 20,000 BT employees will move into these new units from other parts of the business.

Says Verwaayen (pictured above): "This is the second phase of BT's transformation. The first phase saw BT shift its focus from narrowband to broadband. This next stage is equally important.

"It will see BT advance from a 20th century hardware-based company to a 21st century software-based services company.

"In a software driven world, services will be available in real time and around the globe, harnessing the potential of BT's 21st Century Network. The changes we are announcing today will drive new standards of excellence and shift power and choice decisively to customers."

Green's former job is taken by Francois Barrault, quondam president of BT International. He also joins the BT board.

No-one at BT wanted to rain on the parade by mentioning the expected loss of thousands of jobs in the reorganisation. Large scale voluntary redundancies are predicted in order to maintain earnings growth during the makeover.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff