Verwaayen leaving BT, Livingston taking over

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BT CEO Ben Verwaayen announced that he is resigning from the company's top post effective at the end of May. His decision to leave comes not long after the U.K. telco giant reported poor financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2007. BT also has seen a couple of key executives leave the company in the last several months, and has faced increasing scrutiny of the execution and expense of its 21st Century Network project. BT's current retail chief, Ian Livingston, will succeed Verwaayen as CEO, and though a broad search reportedly was conducted behind the scenes after Verwaayen quietly told BT's chairman of his plans a few month ago, Livingston seems like to obvious choice.

In Verwaayen's six years as CEO, he re-invigorated a stumbling incumbent telco by having it pursue a new kind of service provider model. Some carriers worldwide are just beginning to consider the wholesale-retail split that BT was among the first to tackle aggressively. And, though the 21CN may face further criticism in the future, it ultimately is positioning BT on the cutting edge of the Web services model.

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