BT Under Pressure

2:40 PM -- BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has its work cut out following the upheaval at its Global Services division that cost one senior executive his job and resulted in a profits warning from the British incumbent. (See BT's Barrault Bolts and BT Issues Profits Warning.)

The carrier's share price crashed by nearly 20 percent Friday to 115.1 pence on the London exchange after the news that second-quarter and full-fiscal-year earnings would suffer because of a lack of cost control at the Global Services unit.

That unit is now headed by Hanif Lalani, who has given up his group finance director chair to wield the axe and slash costs, so expect to see job losses announced soon.

The news that BT is trying to address the situation, and that it has one of its top accountants on the job, at least steadied its share price Monday: The stock closed up almost 1.5 percent at 116.8 pence.

It wasn't enough to stop Standard & Poor’s revising its outlook on BT to "negative from stable... The outlook revision reflects our concern that a persistent negative trend in BT's group EBITDA could lead to a downgrade."

All eyes will now be on chairman Sir Michael Rake and persistently chipper CEO Ian Livingston to see how they shape up. (See Verwaayen Set to Leave BT.)

It'll also be interesting to see where the now former head of BT Global Services, François Barrault, turns up. Barrault's former boss, Ben Verwaayen, is looking to shuffle his team at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- could there be room for him there? (See AlcaLu Down, But Not Out, in Q3.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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