FD may secure BT top job by summer.

A spokeswoman said the media was ‘mischief making’ after reports over the weekend suggested Hampton had turned down the offer to become chief executive as it was a ‘poisoned chalice’.

BT stated there would be no reshuffle until next year when chairman Sir Iain Vallance, 56, will be retiring.

Vallance has come under pressure as the company share price fell from over #15 in January last year, to under #5 today.

‘Sir Iain is retiring in July 2002 and at that time Peter Hampton could become a prime candidate to replace him as he has impressed shareholders since joining the company, but we do not expect Sir Iain to leave before that time,’ said the spokeswoman.

Individual and group shareholders are expected to mount even more pressure on company seniors at its next agm in July.

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