BT chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield will be stepping down from the position in January, a year early, with a golden handshake of £1.5m, the telco said today. He follows chairman Sir Iain Vallance, who resigned in April.
Bonfield initially said he would stay until his contract ends in December 2002, but it is thought that the company's shares diving by more than a third this year may have prompted the quicker move.
Bonfield's term as chairman has been dogged by criticism after BT spent £9.5bn on third-generation licences last year, bringing its debt up to £30bn.
This has been somewhat rectified since the arrival of financial director Philip Hampton and chairman Sir Christopher Bland over the last year.
BT has since raised £5.9bn from selling stock to existing shareholders, as well as selling holdings in overseas companies and setting in motion plans to spin off its mm02 wireless unit.
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