Displaying items by tag: Pressure

British operator announces that CEO will depart

Written on Sunday, 10 June 2018 12:54

British telecommunications operator BT has announced that current CEO Gavin Patterson will depart from his role later in the year after weeks of speculation regarding his position.

Patterson has been subjected to intense scrutiny from BT shareholders who expressed concern at the direction of the group under his leadership. Chairman of BT Jan du Plessis confirmed the CEO’s departure via a statement, citing that recent results indicated that it was clear change was needed to address the slump.

In the statement, du Plessis said, “The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team. However, the ‘broader reaction’ to recent results has demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy".

BT announced last month that it plans to axe over a thousand jobs in a bid to offset cash problems and also confirmed it would relocate its headquarters and move out of its famous London base. BT has in recent years launched a costly push into broadcasting live Premier League football matches, hurting the group's bottom line.

In addition to launching BT Sport during his five years as CEO, Patterson also purchased mobile operator EE from Deutsche Telekom and Orange in a £12.5-billion ($16.8-billion, 14.2-billion-euro) deal.

Following Friday's announcement, BT's share price was down 0.44 percent at 202 pence on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 0.8 percent overall in early deals.

   "Since 2016, BT's share price graph resembles something of a black run; pretty much always on a downward trend and with a few nasty cliffs here and there," noted George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Shareholder confidence has followed the share price down," he added.

Published in Telecom Operators

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick has sensationally resigned as CEO of Uber after coming under increased pressure from investors who raised serious concerns over his leadership. The co-founder of the ride-hailing service which has upended the taxi industry on a global scale has been under intense scrutiny over a series of scandals that have rocked the organization.

However, just last week it was announced following a board meeting that Kalanick had agreed to take a leave of absence for an undetermined period of time in an effort to grieve for his mother who had recently been tragically killed in a boating accident. His father was also seriously injured in the accident, and Kalanick said he needed a break to spend time with his family and work on his leadership skills.

It was expected he would return quietly in a few months when the controversies surrounding the organization blows over. However, it has been announced that Kalanick has now resigned as CEO after a letter from venture capitalist firm Benchmark called for his resignation.

In a statement given to the New York Times, Kalanick said it was imperative that Uber went back to building rather than becoming embroiled in a fight – and that he accepted the investors request. He said, “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors' request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

Uber has been under the spotlight following an investigation into the culture that exists within its workplace and the practices employed by the firm which Kalanick co-founded in 2009. Uber is now the world’s most highly valued start-up business. A growing momentum of voices demanded changes at the helm, and it was the call from Uber’s biggest investors that ultimately forced Kalanick to concede that his position was now untenable.

One of Uber’s largest shareholders Bill Gurley is a partner in Benchmark and he also sits on the board. Other venture capital firms such as First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures and Fidelity Investments, all called for the CEO to step aside. It has been reported that they delivered a letter to Kalanick when he was in Chicago. It is believed that Kalanick will remain on Uber’s board.

Gurley, one of Kalanick's closest confidants, praised the CEO on Twitter, after calling for his resignation. He tweeted, "There will be many pages in the history books devoted to @travisk - very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world.”

An Uber spokesman has expressed his shock and surprise at the decision taken by Kalanick. Some analysts felt that it was inevitable he had to go after an extensive investigation was initiated by former US Attorney General Eric Holder. Uber hired Holder to examine its culture and workplace practices after a former employee accused the company of engaging in brazen sexual harassment. Uber is now valued at $68 billion, which completely shattered the norms for Silicon Valley startups, and many feel the organization embodied many of Kalanick’s aggressive and pugnacious personality traits.

Published in Apps

India’s second largest telecom operator has been forced to restructure its management team following the departures of a number of key executives from the organization. Some industry analysts have suggested the emergence and impact of 4G start-up Reliance Jio was the main reason behind the restructuring process.

The former CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic, Balesh Sharma has been appointed COO of Vodafone India’s commercial and enterprise units, replacing Naveen Chopra who held this position for a period of two years. He will remain with the company and is expected to be named in a new role soon.

Representatives of Vodafone India have played down the significance of the restructuring – and dismissed suggestions that the reshuffle was a reactive measure taken due to rival Reliance Jio extending its free voice and data offers.

A spokesman for Vodafone India stated it was ‘business as usual’ and the purpose of the restructuring was in order to make decisions faster and integrate its commercial strategy with operational teams in a much more effective manner.

Other high-profile changes within the company will see Head of M-Pesa, Suresh Sethi – the figure behind its payment bank initiative is expected to depart soon– while the telecom operator named Rahul Bhagat as an adviser. Ravi Santhanam, who was in charge of customer value management, a role that reported to the CMO, resigned.

The entry of Reliance Jio to the market in India has forced the country’s top three mobile players, Bharit Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Celluar to follow Jio’s lead with generous free voice and data offers, which subsequently sparked a price war in the region.

Reports emerged last week that Vodafone Group had entered merger negotiations with its rival Idea in a bid to fend off and combat the increased competition in the hugely competitive market.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said a plan to merge its Indian business with Idea is not a sign the company is exiting the market or backing away from a fight with Jio.

However, Vodafone India isn’t the only player looking to gain scale via a merger. It has been reported that Telenor India has expressed its interest in exploring a merger through a share swap with Aircel and Reliance Communications, which are themselves trying to merge to create the country’s third largest operator.

Published in Telecom Operators