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BT appoints new CEO

Bonfield names his heir
Written by Sally Watson, Contributor

Bonfield names his heir

BT has appointed Ben Verwaayen as chief executive, finally drawing its protracted boardroom reshuffle to a close. The 49 year-old Dutch national was tempted away from his current job as vice-chairman of Lucent with a £7m pay cheque. Verwaayen will receive a basic salary of £700,000, but the telco said further remuneration will be "heavily leveraged towards performance". If successful, the new CEO could add £910,000 a year in bonuses. BT will also give its new boss £2m worth of shares, but Verwaayen will sell all his holdings in ailing Lucent and invest £1m of his own money into BT stocks. BT's current CEO Sir Peter Bonfield announced at the end of October that he would leave the telco in January, citing "successes and failures" during his tenure. Bonfield wasn't due to leave the company until later in the year, but rumours of an early departure had been circulating for some time, along with growing investor dissatisfaction with his performance. Verwaayen, a veteran of the telecoms market previously at Dutch telco KPN, will face close scrutiny as he attempts to revive BT's flagging fortunes. Lucent chairman and CEO Henry Schacht said he was sad to see his vice-chairman leave but looked forward to working with him in his new role. "We will miss Ben's leadership, insights and exceptional business management skills, but we are very proud and happy for him. BT has secured the services of a truly exceptional executive," Schacht said in a statement. Verwaayen will take up his post on 1 February.
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