Telecoms professionals shed few tears for Bonfield

The news that BT chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield is to leave the company a year early attracted mixed reactions at the TMA...

The news that BT chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield is to leave the company a year early attracted mixed reactions at the TMA telecoms conference yesterday.

Ralph McMillan, a network consultant for BT's wholesale division, said: "We all knew he was going to leave at some point, but it shouldn't make much difference that he's going early. It'll still be business as usual for the company."

But Judy Livers, a marketing manager at Paradyne, which makes local loop hardware for BT's competitors, said: "BT has been very parochial in its approach to rolling out services and the way it conducts its business in general.

"I think a change at the top may prove to be beneficial, but it depends, of course, where they go for the replacement. An external candidate may be a good idea."

A spokesman for the Communications Management Association (CMA) told CW360.com: "This is not unexpected. For some time we've been arguing for BT to pay more attention to its customers, particularly its larger corporate ones.

"We have also been concerned about the influence that the City has had in respect to BT's investment strategies."

The spokesman added: "Perhaps a new figure at the top - internal or external - would help to shift the balance more towards meeting customer needs, which includes, of course, increased broadband access."

Another delegate from a local authority, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: "BT has come a long way in the 15 years since privatisation, and there are undoubtedly more services available, but we still need more competition."

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