BT’s Bonfield quits early

Bonfield initially said he would stay until his contract ends in December 2002, but it is thought that the company’s shares diving by more than a third this year may have prompted the quicker move.

Bonfield’s term as chairman has been dogged by criticism after BT spent Pounds 9.5bn on third-generation licences last year, bringing its debt up to Pounds 30bn.

This has been somewhat rectified since the arrival of financial director Philip Hampton and chairman Sir Christopher Bland over the last year.

BT has since raised Pounds 5.9bn from selling stock to existing shareholders, as well as selling holdings in overseas companies and setting in motion plans to spin off its mm02 wireless unit.

The company has recently been holding meetings across the UK to reassure 500 of its accounting and finance staff of the benefits of a transfer to business services group Xansa as part of a major outsourcing deal.


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