John Pluthero, the combative executive chairman of Cable & Wireless, has begun his shake-up of the telecoms group’s international division by replacing two key managers.
Chris Hetherington, the chief executive of C&W’s Americas and Caribbean operations, and Frank Mount, C&W International’s chief technology officer, are leaving the company. They have been replaced with Tony Bromfield and Ken McFadyen respectively, both colleagues of Mr Pluthero from his time as chief executive of Energis, which C&W bought in 2005.
The reshuffle will be seen as the opening move in Mr Pluthero’s efforts to turn round the international division. He took charge of the division last November, adding the job to his role as executive chairman of Europe, Asia and US, after the unit reported a dip in performance.
Mr Pluthero is expected to give more details of his restructuring plans next month after he completes an extended tour of its operations.
He has said the board will look at “every option” including spinning off the international business and running the Europe, Asia and US section as a stand-alone entity.
Mr Hetherington’s departure comes just a year and half after he was appointed to the position, overseeing a portfolio of 14 businesses with combined revenues of more than £800m.
The international business offers mobile, broadband, and domestic and international fixed-line services principally in the Caribbean, Panama, Macau, Monaco and the Channel Islands.
The Caribbean in particular has been a long-standing cash cow for the company, but C&W has struggled there just as the market looks set to get tougher with competitors Digicel and America Movil moving in.
Mr Pluthero is known for his no-nonsense management style. He presided over a turnround as chief executive of Energis and achieved some success at C&W’s UK, Asia and US business.