BT finance chief takes Danon's retail role

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The Independent Online

Ian Livingston, the 40-year-old finance director of BT Group, is to fill the role vacated last month by Pierre Danon, who quit as the chief executive of BT's Retail operation.

Ian Livingston, the 40-year-old finance director of BT Group, is to fill the role vacated last month by Pierre Danon, who quit as the chief executive of BT's Retail operation.

Mr Livingston will take up his role in February and analysts expect he will follow a more "corporate" line than Mr Danon, who decided to leave BT after becoming frustrated with life at the former state monopoly.

Mr Livingston will be faced with a raft of challenges, including stemming the decline in BT's fixed voice revenues. He wasted no time in launching himself into the debate over how BT manages investment in broadband technologies. The company is trying to persuade Ofcom, the regulator, to lower the costs of broadband technologies supplied via its main network so it can compete with alternative technologies used by rivals involving BT's local exchanges, called local loop unbundling (LLU). "We would prefer not to do LLU, but if the choice is doing LLU or not competing with those exchanges we will do it," he said

He echoed comments made by Mr Danon last month that it would be "presumptuous" for BT to assume that its recent trend of quarterly revenue rises would continue.

His replacement as finance director will be Hanif Lalani, chief financial officer of BT's Wholesale division.

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