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By | Paul Kunert 15th November 2011 15:01

C&W Worldwide boss out after 4 months

Ailing carrier also files some nasty first half year numbers

Cable & Wireless Worldwide is swapping boss John Pluthero with Vodafone exec Gavin Darby after exceptional charges pushed the firm into the red for the first half of 2011.

The move comes less than five months after former chairman Pluthero replaced Jim Marsh in the CEO chair in June following the third profit warning in the space of a year.

But after a short tenure, it turns out Pluthero was not committed to the business for the long haul.

“We identified various elements of what we thought needed to be done and we all agreed that, given some of the elements play out over three to five years, the business needed a chief executive who would stay for three to five years,” said Pluthero today.

Darby, who was one-time UK CEO at Vodafone and more recently ran the US, African India and China businesses, is set to join C&W WW in March.

The ailing carrier this morning reported interims for the six months ended 30 September, with sales down 4.5 per cent to £1.07bn on the back of declines in voice and data traffic. However turnover from hosting – server, website and cloud services – was up.

Pre-tax profits sunk more than 45 per cent to £35m, including £478m of write-downs related to goodwill impairment and a reduction in deferred tax assets. C&W swung to a pre-tax loss of £443m.

Chairman John Barton said the results were in line with expectations "at the end of a turbulent period for Cable & Wireless Worldwide".

He added the firm will cough a 0.75 pence per share dividend in January 2012 at a cost of £20m but revealed future dividends have been suspended to "improve balance sheet strength and enable investment in the business".

This is part of the cost-reduction programme that Barton said C&W had embarked upon, which also includes fine-tuning the support functions and supply chain. ®

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