Jeff Kelly takes top post at BT Global

BT is taking its Global Services division in a new direction with the appointment of EDS veteran Jeff Kelly as the unit's new CEO. Kelly will replace Hanif Lalani, a 26-year BT employee, who decided to leave the service provider to pursue his own business interests.  

Although BT sees its Global services division--one that provides IT and telecom services to a number of high profile private sector (Proctor and Gamble) and public sector entities (U.K. National Health Service)--as a major growth driver, the business has faltered in recent years.

With its wireline phone service revenue continuing to decline, BT set its sights on making Global Services a profitable business. Instead, the division's costs outweighed its revenue, leading to a profit warning in 2008 and the ousting of the division's former chief Francois Barrault.

Robin Bienenstock, an analyst with Sanford Bernstein, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that hiring Kelly is a good move for BT. Kelly has a "great background because EDS is one of the few places that's done a proper and successful turnaround of businesses like this," he said.

Kelly joins BT Global with a wealth of network service experience. Prior to joining BT, Kelly ran EDS' $10 billion business in the Americas. And this experience will come in handy as BT's CEO Ian Livingston again is going to axe about 15,000 employees this year. An estimated two-thirds of those cuts will come from the Global Services division.

For more:
- see the release here
- Wall Street Journal has this article

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