BT announces Danon's successor

Former group finance director Ian Livingston is to be the new head of BT Retail

The successor to BT Retail CEO Pierre Danon has been named as current group finance director Ian Livingston.

Livingston has been a board member at the telco since April 2002. Still only 40, he came to prominence as one of the team that helped with the stellar rise of ISP Freeserve, when he was finance director at Dixons Group.

Livingston will in turn be replaced as finace director when that move goes through next February by Hanif Lalani, now CFO over at BT Wholesale.

In a statement BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland said the two executives had been identified through succession planning as likely candidates for the posts at some stage.

A spokesman said external candidates would have been considered.

"With any big company looking at the top team, the board needs to be aware of good replacements for what may happen in due course," he said.

While Danon was known as a charismatic leader with a firm grasp of BT's overall business, some experts have already questioned whether Livingston will have all-round knowledge.

"For an FD, he has always talked a lot like a CEO," the spokesman added. "He just happens to also be a financial whiz."

The musical chairs was brought about by Danon announcing his departure just over two weeks ago. He is moving back to his native France to take over as COO at IT services company Capgemini.

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