C&W finance boss departs in revamp

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The Independent Online

Cable & Wireless moved a step closer to breaking itself up yesterday with a far-reaching overhaul that sees the finance director Charles Herlinger depart.

The troubled telecoms giant is splitting its management structure in two - in effect, separating the international and UK arms.

There will be a new incentive scheme for top managers, a decision that raised some eyebrows in the City given the company's recent troubles.

According to the statement, Mr Herlinger will leave at the end of May. It is understood he will be compensated with £400,000, a year's pay. He holds share options but they are not thought to be especially valuable.

C&W's UK business sells telecoms services to large corporations and internet connections to the public through Bulldog. The international arm is a series of mini BTs and is the main player for telephone services in Panama and the Caribbean.

C&W recently decided these two businesses should be run separately. They may be spun off and floated individually.

C&W said yesterday the two arms will have separate management teams that report into the main board. That board will be slimmed down, with Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Graham Howe, Bernard Gray and Rob Rowley retiring soon. Lord Robertson will stay as chairman of the international business.

Sam Morton, at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said: "There are very few synergies between the two groups. It makes sense to break them up."

John Pluthero heads the UK arm, with international operations overseen by Harris Jones. Under the new set-up, Tony Rice, a non-executive, takes on a new role as group managing director and finance chief.