Cloud enablement

Pluthero Back in C&W Hot Seat

Little more than a year after the demerger of Cable and Wireless plc into two separate businesses, one of them, Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW), has issued a trading warning, dumped CEO Jim Marsh and turned to its chairman to get the enterprise services specialist out of trouble. (See C&W Worldwide Warns, Dumps CEO and C&W Does the Splits.)

This is no ordinary chairman, though -- this is John Pluthero, who has a track record of whipping business communications services firms into shape (including Cable & Wireless plc and Energis plc (OTC: ENGSY)) and banking eye-watering bonuses as a reward. (See Greed Culture.)

As of today, Pluthero is in day-to-day charge at C&W Worldwide, which has reported slow sales orders during the past two months and needs a shake-up. His first job will be to appease investors, who, because of a cloud services-focused investment plan and a reduced earnings forecast, have had their "intended dividend" for the fiscal year to March 2012 cut by 50 percent to 2.25 pence.

In an official C&W Worldwide statement on the situation, Pluthero makes it clear he had lost patience with Marsh. "Clearly it has been a very difficult 12 months and it is now important that we take the necessary steps to ensure the future growth of our business… It has been easy to lose sight of what this business could be; it is my intention to reassert and realise that future."

Tell it like it is, Johnno!

Part of Pluthero's mission will be to figure out whether to keep or sell the company's international network infrastructure assets. (See Euronews: C&W Worldwide Mulls Asset Sale.)

Investors are probably glad that Pluthero has taken the reins, but the news that the dividend has taken a massive haircut has shaved 8.53 pence, more than 16 percent, off the carrier's share price, which stands at 43.72 pence.

That compares badly to the 2011 high of 76.9 pence achieved in mid-February and 94.7 pence when C&W Worldwide was born in late March 2010.

For more on the operations now under Pluthero's direct control, check out the following:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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