Boardroom discord fuels BT split rumours

Chartered accountant Hampton, who oversaw the break-up of the gas utility British Gas, last Friday took over as group FD from Robert Brace, who stepped down after 11-years in control of group finances.

The appointment of the 47-year old former BG FD was widely interpreted this week as heralding the announcement of a wholesale dismembering of the UK’s premier telecoms group.

Stock prices leapt by 7.7% after the announcement of Brace’s resignation.The appointment of a new group FD comes within a week of BT denying previous speculation that its non-executive chairman Sir Iain Vallance had agreed to step down.

Last week management accountant Sir Anthony Greener, the former chairman of Diageo, joined the board before taking over from Colin Marshall as joint deputy chairman next year.

BT this April created three new divisions, BT Wireless, BTOpenWorld and Ignite in a bid to bolster its position in mobile and internet markets.

Hampton built his reputation restructuring former state-owned conglomerates while FD of British Steel for five years until 1996.


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