Colt Telecom is to have its fifth chief executive in six years following the decision of Jean-Yves Charlier to return to Fidelity Investments, the telecommunications company’s parent.
Mr Charlier had been on secondment from Fidelity International Limited since 2004. He will be replaced as president and chief executive by Rakesh Bhasin, the third consecutive time Fidelity has appointed a Colt boss on secondment.
“I had a clear mandate to turn round the company, get it into profit and deal with the debt,” said Mr Charlier.
“We’ve got to the point where we put Colt into a sustainable business,” he added.
Colt was founded by Fidelity in 1992 and the fund manager remains the main shareholder with a 60 per cent stake.
Mr Bhasin, a Fidelity managing director, has been president and chief executive of KVH, an Asian telecoms network group.
He was also previously at AT&T and Japan Telecom.
“We are adding the strength of Rakesh’s KVH experience, particularly in managed services, to Colt as the business moves to the next stage in its evolution,” said Barry Bateman, chairman of Colt.
Mr Charlier implemented a wide-ranging cost-cutting and financial restructuring programme aiming at making Colt profitable after the group spent more than £3bn building a 20,000km pan-European network that includes 32 cities in 13 countries.
In October, Colt recorded its first “true” quarterly profit, without exceptional gains, of its 14-year history.
The company has moved away from lower margin voice revenues, scrapped its secondary listing on Nasdaq and moved its domicile to Luxembourg.
Colt in July returned to the market for its fifth fundraising since 1992 to raise £300m of new equity in an open offer. Its shares closed down 2p at 144p yesterday.