Telewest bags Orange chief to head cable arm

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The Independent Online

Telewest Communications, the cable operator, yesterday raided Orange to sign Bob Fuller, the chief operating officer of the mobile group's UK operation, to become chief executive of its cable division from 1 December.

Telewest Communications, the cable operator, yesterday raided Orange to sign Bob Fuller, the chief operating officer of the mobile group's UK operation, to become chief executive of its cable division from 1 December.

Mr Fuller's move comes as Telewest is relaunching its digital television and high-speed internet access services. The appointment is meant to underline the cable group's aim to improve product marketing and customer service.

Adam Singer, chief executive of Telewest, said: "It's a serious coup for Telewest to have got its hands on top-flight telephone talent. His operational skills and strategic thinking will underpin and accelerate our plans to exploit our network."

The timing of Mr Fuller's departure means he will miss out on the share options bonanza that will accompany Orange's expected relisting following its acquisition by France Telecom.

Mr Fuller, like chief executive Hans Snook, and other Orange executives would have been in line for millions of pounds in incentives as part of the initial public offering.

Although Mr Fuller's compensation package with Telewest was not revealed, it is likely the cable company will have been obliged to offer a package taking account of the likely bonanza to come from Orange's relisting. Commenting on Mr Fuller's remuneration, a source said: "I'm sure its hefty and competitive."

Mr Fuller who helped build Orange into one the of UK's top performing brands, said of his move: "I am coming because I believe that Telewest's unique combination of network and content skills gives it huge potential to be a leading force in the digital world."

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