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By | Paul Kunert 7th September 2011 10:38

BT Engage IT to merge with dabs.com and Biz Direct

£400m mega-org forged, Balaam to step down

BT Engage IT chief executive Martin Balaam is stepping down as part of a re-organisation that will see the telco-owned reseller merge with BT's Business Direct and dab.com operations.

The consolidated firm, which BT claims will have a turnover of £400m, is to be managed by John Thornhill, currently the boss of BT Business Direct and dabs.com. Thornhill is working on the handover with Balaam over the next few weeks.

"The new entity will deliver IT services to the entire spectrum of BT Business customers," a BT spokeswoman told The Reg. "It will allow BT Retail to work more effectively as one team across its customer base and across the different businesses."

The firm said that the combined organisation will improve purchasing power – though distributors reckon the Ts&Cs are already pretty aggressive – and provide "better utilisation of assets and skills between the businesses".

BT bought dabs.com from UK entrepreneur Dave Atherton in 2006. The acquisitions of Basilica and Lynx in 2007 created the mid-market and corporate enterprise reselling operation rebranded as BT Engage IT in 2009.

The spokeswoman said Balaam's "next steps" will be revealed in due course but it has been a rocky road for the exec since he joined Engage IT in 2009, axing a number of senior figures from the workforce as part of around 100 job cuts.

Balaam had previously worked for Redstone but left amid losses that industry onlookers attributed to the slow pace of integrating acquisitions the firm made.

BT added that the focus of the new operation is rather unsurprisingly on boosting revenues and profits but also on "retaining people for the future; we are not anticipating any redundancies at present".

The businesses will continue to trade under the existing brands "for now", BT said. ®

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