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BT boss quits

BT chairman Sir Iain Vallance is to go at the end of the month.
Written by Ron Coates, Contributor

BT chairman Sir Iain Vallance is to go at the end of the month.

His replacement will be Sir Christopher Bland, the chairman of the board of governors at the BBC. Vallance has been chairman since 1987 and was made CEO the previous year to oversee BT's privatisation. Vallance is also chairman of Concert, BT's international joint venture with AT&T, which, it was revealed this week, will have losses of $500m for the first six months of the year. For the last year there has been pressure for Vallance and/or BT CEO Sir Peter Bonfield to step down. Investors and the City were upset at BT's high level of debt and low share price. BT's shares have fallen so low that the company is worth barely as much as its £30bn debt mountain. Despite promises, the BT board has been unable or unwilling to carry out debt reduction and sell-offs first proposed about a year ago. Vallance said: "For some time now I have felt it right that I should stand down once we could find an able successor." Bland said: "BT is an excellent company operating in a highly competitive sector. I look forward to chairing the board through the next challenging and exciting period."
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