Eurobites: BT Calls in McKinsey to Stop the Rot

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cattaneo considers his options; Etisalat doubles down on IoT; BT and KPMG on cybersecurity.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

July 10, 2017

3 Min Read
Eurobites: BT Calls in McKinsey to Stop the Rot

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Cattaneo considers his options; Etisalat doubles down on IoT; BT and KPMG on cybersecurity.

  • BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has called in consultants McKinsey & Co. to help the UK incumbent stop the rot and revive fortunes hit by, among other things, a financial scandal at its Italian subsidiary. As the Daily Telegraph reports, it is thought that "Project Novator" may include a merger of BT's ailing Global Services unit with its business and public sector division. A separation of Global Services' UK arm from its overseas businesses is also under consideration, say the Telegraph's sources. In January, BT's share price plummeted more than 19% following the revelation that the irregularities at its Italian business would prompt a £530 million ($661 million) write-down. (See Dodgy Italian Job Savages BT Earnings, Share Price Tanks.)

    • Telecom Italia (TIM) CEO Flavio Cattaneo is reportedly in talks to leave the company following recent tensions with main shareholder Vivendi, according to Bloomberg. The charge, which the two companies deny, is that Cattaneo feels he can no longer run the company the way he wants to. (See Eurobites: Vivendi Tightens Its Grip on Telecom Italia.)

    • Middle Eastern operator Etisalat has committed to the Internet of Things with the commercial launch of NB-IoT and LTE-M services, Zawya reports. The operator has carried out IoT device testing with several vendors, including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM).

    • And speaking of the Chinese giant, Huawei has also been welcomed into the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), an intergovernmental body. OK, hands up who knew that such an organization existed? For those wondering what the Commonwealth is, you can find out here and then wonder at the membership criteria of the CTO...

    • BT and consultancy KPMG have released a report, 'The cyber security journey – from denial to opportunity,' designed to provide practical guidance to companies wondering how to protect themselves in the 21st century. There's a lot that can be done, but simply throwing money at security technology and hoping that will keep cyber criminals at bay is not a good course of action, the partners advise. (See Cybersecurity: More a People Than a Tech Challenge? and BT, KPMG Highlight Cybersecurity Traps.)

    • Telekom Austria Group has told investors to expect more of the same, revenue-wise, in the second quarter, though the operator expects EBITDA to be higher, year-on-year, with strong performance in Bulgaria and Belarus boosting the numbers.

    • UK broadband provider TalkTalk is to replace its CFO later this year, the Financial Times reports (subscription required). Out will go Iain Torrens and in will come Kate Ferry, previously with Dixons Carphone and Merrill Lynch, among others. In February former CEO Dido Harding, who caught most of the flak associated with a major cyber attack that struck the company in the fall of 2015, was also replaced. (See Eurobites: TalkTalk Counts Cost of Cyber Attack.)

    • Denmark is rapidly becoming the European data center location of choice for the online giants. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has announced it will build another data center in the country, its second in Denmark to be run entirely on renewable energy, as Reuters reports. In January, Facebook said it would build a facility in Denmark, its third outside the US.

      — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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