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March 8: Vodafone’s chief marketing officer, Peter Bamford, is stepping down from the board and leaving the group. Before joining Vodafone in 1997, he was in retail, including a stint at Tesco, the alma mater of Vodafone’s chairman, Lord MacLaurin. We’re in the process of trying to unpick what exactly is behind this but it’s hard to divorce it from chief executive Arun Sarin’s assault on the old guard: Bamford is intimately associated with the old, increasingly threadbare, strategy of Sir Christopher Gent. He has been chief executive of Vodafone’s UK business and has run its northern European and Middle Eastern business.
What is going on at Carillion, the construction group which has just taken over its rival Mowlem? Buried in its full-year results announcement is the news that Mowlem is under some sort of investigation by the OFT. “Within the last few days, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) visited two Mowlem offices,” the group says. “We have fully co-operated with the OFT and will continue to do so as appropriate.” Carillion shares are off 2 per cent.
The exodus at UBS seems to be picking up pace. Now it is Warren Woo who is leaving, just three months after being promoted to global head of financial sponsors and leveraged finance origination. This comes after news this week that Alex Easton, head of European equities, and Jim Renwick, chairman of corporate broking, had resigned. What makes LA-based Woo’s departure all the more odd is that he was one of Ken Moelis’s gang from DLJ. I can’t imagine why anybody still uses this line, but some of his former colleagues muttered something this morning about him wanting to spend more time with his family.
There is dreadful news on the advertising market today from ITV and Johnston Press. Advertising revenues for both are off about 10 per cent since the start of the year. ITV, which published full-year figures in line with expectations, managed to lift its stock by announcing a £300m share buy-back. Johnston Press, publisher of local newspapers, particularly bleak about the outlook for advertising. Its stock is off 2 per cent.
Good volume figures from the London Stock Exchange, which says that nine of its busiest days ever occurred in February.
And we have a lovely package on Corus to mark its re-entry into the FTSE 100. Our very own Man of Steel, Peter Marsh, has been out visiting sites and done us some great stuff, not all of which shows Corus in such a great light.
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