Bonfield quits BT; to receive £1.49m payoff -- and other news briefs



Bonfield quits BT a year early
The chief executive of British Telecom, Sir Peter Bonfield, is to step down a year before his contract officially...



Bonfield quits BT a year early
The chief executive of British Telecom, Sir Peter Bonfield, is to step down a year before his contract officially ends. Sir Peter will receive a pay-off of £1.49m, made up of one year's salary, a year's bonus, and compensation for other benefits, such as health cover and car. His pension will also be enhanced.

The Financial Times reports that Sir Peter's resignation marks the end of the most difficult period in BT's history. The Times reports that BT shares rose by 11p to 348p, despite shareholder anger over his payoff. The Independent speculates on possible successor's to Sir Peter's job, reporting that BT's failure to announce an immediate successor suggests that the new chief executive will come from outside the company. The Daily Telegraph reports Sir Peter's comments that the next successor should have "imagination, a real drive and a thick skin". The Guardian notes that the next test for BT is the Earthlease bid for its local loop network.

Alcatel cuts 10,000 jobs as it falls into red
The French telecoms equipment group, Alcatel, has unveiled plans for a further 10,000 redundancies across Europe. The company intends to cut 90 jobs at its optical equipment production factory in Livingston and will cut about a third of its British workforce based in Maidenhead, Banbury, Newport and London.

The Financial Times
and the Times report that many of the 10,000 redundancies will affect the company's French workforce. The Guardian reports that Alcatel claims to have fared better than its rivals, and continues to pick up market share in important areas.

Best of the rest
The Times reports

  • The mobile network operator, Orange, is reviewing its contracts with high street retailers after learning that customers of rival networks have been "spammed" by dealers sending unsolicited text messages to customers on rival networks.


  • The internet content provider, 365 Corporation, has warned that escalating costs would force the company deeper into the red. The company has closed a number of sites and reduced its staff from 700 to 470.



The Financial Times reports
  • The German semiconductor group, Infineon, is in talks with three Taiwanese chip producers over a joint venture to manufacture memory chips.

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