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British Telecom Announces Restructuring, Managing Director To Leave

March 29, 1990

LONDON (AP) _ British Telecommunications PLC on Thursday announced a major restructuring that its chairman said was designed to make Britain’s predominant telephone company ″leaner and more supple.″

The restructuring substantially reorganizes the company, but does not involve any major layoffs. However, some managers might be let go after the restructuring is completed in about a year, a spokesman said.

British Telecom also said that Managing Director Graeme Odgers would leave the company shortly by mutual agreement.

Odgers’ departure was not related to the restructuring, said the spokesman, who was not identified in accordance with British practice. But he declined to be more specific.

Analysts speculated that Odgers would have preferred more cost-cutting at the company. British Telecom Chairman Iain Vallance is more customer-minded, they said.

The analysts said the streamlining was not particularly significant beyond improving customer service. British Telecom still needs cost-cutting, they said.

The spokesman said the changes would ″remove substantial barriers and provide a firm foundation″ for cost control. ″A company the size of BT does present a challenge with control,″ he said.

British Telecom said it would divide individual and business customer services into two divisions and eliminate the confusion of dealing with 27 service districts.

Businesses with operations spread across Britain and multinational corporations will be able to coordinate their various telecommunications needs with a single branch of what will be the Business Communications division, the spokesman said.

In addition to the business service and the Personal Communications division, British Telecom said it would gather its special business operations, such as telephone directory information, into a third unit.

The company also said it plans to unify its British sales and marketing team under single management, which eventually will absorb the international sales force.

″Our objective is to become a leaner and more supple organization, structured to meet the differing needs of all our customers,″ Vallance said.

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