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ICL chief hits the reassurance road



Bill Goodwin

ICL's newly appointed chief executive is touring the company's top UK customers to reassure them that they will not be...

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Bill Goodwin

ICL's newly appointed chief executive is touring the company's top UK customers to reassure them that they will not be left in the lurch by the company's restructuring.

The charm offensive follows concerns by some customers that ICL's increasing focus on e-business could detract from the quality of ICL's support for legacy systems.

"The point I want to make is that we are not deserting customers but e-business services are there for them if they want," Richard Christou said last week.

Christou admitted that ICL had been distracted by preparations for its aborted flotation, but was now winning customer confidence through its backing from Fujitsu.

Some customers have raised concerns about ICL's ability to respond quickly to their enquiries, but Christou said this problem would disappear as ICL's sales force is restructured.

Some 650 staff are in the process of leaving the company but Christou said further job cuts could not be ruled out. The company is now focusing on cutting costs elsewhere in the business.

ICL plans to cut costs further by reducing its property portfolio by 600,000 square feet over the next three to five years. More of its workers will use mobile technology to "hot desk" or to work from home.

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