Management Turnover as Change Agent

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unexpected Change at Cable Wireless

Cable and Wireless CW (LSE), the telecommunications firm that has changed so many times over the years one might think of the company as the seasons, announced the surprise departure of Harris Jones, chief executive of its international division. Jones' exit is expected by the end of the year. Cable and Wireless organized itself into two divisions last year, each with its own chief executive. One division was international businesses which Jones headed and the other was Europe/Asia and US operations, headed by John Pluthero.

Pluthero will assume management control of the international and the Europe/Asia and US divisions until a replacement is found for Jones. Jones departure comes after the company announced its latest earnings. The company's group chairman, Richard Lapthone
... denied the departure was acrimonious, saying the division just needed "a fresh pair of eyes".
While overall results were not bad, Jones' division performed far worse than that of Pluthero's. C&W cannot expect to really turn things around if it continues with the same management structure. It really needs to find a management formula that can get the company to perform. It is possible, as has often been rumored, parts of the company might be sold or de-merged but the powers that be continue to insist that is not their plan. According to a story in Exec UK,
It has been widely expected that the company will demerge the UK and international operations, but the group said this morning that it had no immediate plans to split the divisions into different companies.
I suggest you keep a close eye on what specifically Pluthero does over the next few months, who Cable Wireless ultimately hires or is considering to replace Jones and whether the company works to come up with a new management arrangement.

Stay tuned.

For more:

Financial Times
Times Online UK
Cable & Wireless Release
The Guardian
Financial Times

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