Telewest, the debt-beset US cable company whose operations are primarily within the UK, last week waved farewell to Mark Luiz, group finance director, acquired along with Flextech when the content provider was taken over by Telewest in 2000.

The reasons for Luiz’ departure were unstated, although observers believe it is almost certainly connected with the massive debt restructuring currently in train within the group. He is replaced by his deputy Neil Smith whose appointment, unlike that of Luiz, is not at board level.

A bland phrasebook eulogy was delivered by non-executive chairman Anthony ‘Cob’ Stenham: “We thank Mark Luiz for all he has done since joining Flextech in 1988 and for his contribution to the company since the merger with Flextech in 2000.”

But arguably of greater interest is the status of Stenham himself. In June MediaGuardian reported the departure from Telewest of the seventy-one year-old pillar of the corporate establishment, along with a number of other non-executive directors [WAMN: 03-Jun-03].

Some two months later Stenham is still very much in situ, a fact confirmed by Telewest to WAMN on Monday.

But what about the MediaGuardian report asked WAMN? “Just speculation,” replied Telewest’s spokeswoman. Had this widely circulated and potentially damaging speculation – reported as fact by WAMN in good faith – been refuted by Telewest, enquired WAMN? “No,” came the reply.

As Alice so famously remarked: “Curiouser and curiouser!”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff