NTL appoints new CEO

The cable firm's current CEO is stepping aside, but it is believed he'll still lead the company's quest for Virgin Mobile

NTL has announced a management shake-up as it moves ahead with an aggressive acquisition strategy.

Chief executive Simon Duffy, credited as being responsible for the cable company's recent bid for Virgin Mobile, will step down from the post and take on the title of executive vice-chairman.

Stephen Burch, from US cable company Comcast, will become the new president and CEO of NTL starting on 16 January.

NTL is hoping to draw on Burch's experience at Comcast — working on the AT&T Broadband acquisition — to help with NTL's integration of Telewest, which it agreed to buy in October. The combined NTL-Telewest will be the UK's second largest pay-TV company (behind BSkyB) and second largest phone company (behind BT).

In his new role, Duffy will be responsible for mergers and acquisitions and it's believed he'll still drive the Virgin Mobile negotiations.

Earlier this month, NTL made an £817m bid for Virgin Mobile, a move that would allow it to offer quadruple-play services — mobile and fixed telephony, broadband and TV.

The Virgin Mobile board rejected the offer but downplayed the fact it was about money — and Virgin boss Richard Branson has said he believes the two parties will be able to reach an agreement.

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