Vallance steps down at BT, but in at FRC

Sir Iain had come under immense pressure this year to resign from his post at the telecoms company. Investors have expressed disappointment at the company’s weak share price and the company’s Pounds 30bn debt – exacerbated by the purchase of expensive third generation mobile phone licences.

From 1 May, Sir Christopher Bland will take up the reins at BT following Sir Iain’s 14-year stint in the job, and 20 years on the board at BT.

He said: ‘For some time now I have felt it right that I should stand down once we could find an able successor. I am delighted we have now done so and I look forward to maintaining my links with BT alongside both Christopher and Peter Bonfield, CEO.’

Shares in BT, however, failed to provide a lift for the depressed telecoms market. Despite early gains of 2%, BT’s share price was down more than 6% this morning.

Meanwhile, Sir Iain who is also vice chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, will succeed Sir Clive Thompson as deputy chairman of FRC. Trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers and Sir Edward George, governor of the Bank of England, announced his appointment yesterday. He will begin the day he steps down from BT.

The FRC is responsible for promoting good financial reporting and overseeing the Accounting Standards Board, headed by Mary Keegan, and the Financial Reporting Review Panel.

Sir Sydney Lipworth QC has been chairman of the FRC since 1994. The council’s current chairmen include Graham Ward, chairman of the consultative committee of accountancy bodies, and Sir Clive, past president of the Confederation of British Industry. No replacement for the position of the third deputy chairman has yet been announced.


FRC website

BT statement

DTI website

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