Marconi's former CEO gets £2.5m pay-off -- and other news briefs



Ex Marconi chief to get payoff and pension
The board of Marconi, the troubled telecommunications giant, has agreed severance pay of £300,000 for the...



Ex Marconi chief to get payoff and pension
The board of Marconi, the troubled telecommunications giant, has agreed severance pay of £300,000 for the company's former chief executive, Lord Simpson. Lord Simpson will also retain his Marconi pension, said to be worth £2.5m. The former deputy chief executive, John Mayo, is reported to be "holding out" for a larger payoff than the £600,000 he has already received.

The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Independent all report on the furious reaction to the payment from shareholders and trade unions alike. The Financial Times reports that the settlement represents a U-turn for Marconi's new chairman, Derek Bonham. Bonham originally pledged to take a tough stance against any claims from Lord Simpson. The Guardian notes that Lord Simpson's cash payoff is less than a quarter of the sum he originally demanded.

Baltimore board reshuffles again
The loss-making security software group, Baltimore Technologies, has appointed Bijan Khezri as its new chief executive officer in the third management shake-up in a year. The company also admitted that its cash reserves had fallen to £32.4m.

The Financial Times reports that the company's shares rose by 2p yesterday to 16p. The Daily Telegraph carries the news that the new chief executive has ruled out further cost-cutting measures, intending instead to boost sales. The Guardian concentrates on the outgoing chief executive, Paul Sanders, whose former employers, SSL International, are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Microsoft heading for EU showdown
Microsoft has requested a meeting with the European commission to defend itself against allegations made by the EU regulator, Mario Monti, that the company is anti-competitive. The allegations were made in a leaked document from the EU's antitrust investigators.

The Financial Times reports that Microsoft's request shows that the software company is taking the Commission's concerns seriously. The Guardian profiles Mario Monti, the EU commissioner. The newspaper comments that Monti could prove a formidable adversary for Microsoft, as he has "killed off more mergers than he cares to remember, and fined an alarming number of European firms for anti-competitive behaviour".

Best of the rest
The Financial Times reports
  • Infosys Technologies, the Indian software group, reported a 31% rise in profits, confounding fears that the 11 September terrorist attacks would have a negative effect on the Indian IT industry.


  • HP and Sungard are to compete for Comdisco's disaster recovery unit in an auction. The bidding is expected to go as high as $800m (£552m).


  • Yahoo, the Internet service, has posted losses "in line with expectations". The company blamed the 11 September terrorist attacks and weak advertising figures for the lower revenues.


  • The Times reports
  • Accountancy software specialist Sage has admitted that the 11 September terrorist attacks would affect its business. However, the company says its profits will fall broadly in line with estimates.

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