The founder of UK internet pioneer Freeserve has quit the company to join struggling carrier Energis.
John Pluthero will become chief executive in September after being lured to Energis by its new chairman Archie Norman MP, a management consultant credited with turning around the fortunes of the Asda supermarket chain.
However, Pluthero will have his work cut out with Energis, the telecoms business spun off from the National Grid.
The firm's main thrust has been the development of a pan-European fibre-optic network, but the company has been hit hard by the global slump in the telecoms industry.
Investors have been steadily dumping stock, and the share price collapsed to less than 1p before being sold last week to a firm controlled by its 16 creditor banks.
In return, they agreed to support a restructuring of Energis with some £150m in cash and new equity.
An Energis spokesman said that Pluthero knew "the business well and it's quite flattering on the back of that that he's decided to take this position".
The firm was also boosted by completing a £50m five-year deal with Tesco to connect its 730 stores and two data centres.
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