Feb 1, 2017
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Harding quits as CEO of TalkTalk

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Dido Harding, the scourge of BT and Openreach, has quit as
CEO of telecoms operator TalkTalk and is to leave the company
in May after seven years.
She will be replaced by her predecessor, Charles Dunstone, who
is non-executive chairman of TalkTalk and also chairs Dixons
Carphone, the retailer from which TalkTalk split in 2010.
Dunstone will step down as chairman of Dixons Carphone to
become executive chairman of TalkTalk, but Tristia Harrison,
who runs TalkTalk Consumer, will become the new CEO of the
phone company in succession to Harding.
Her time at TalkTalk has been troubled by the
company’s huge data breach in 2015, for which it
was fined £400,000 by the
UK’s information commissioner. Throughout her time
she has been a thorn in the side of BT, having been
particularly critical of its last-mile subsidiary, Openreach,
demanding that the unit be separated out as an independent
company.
Harding said she wanted to "focus more on my activities in
public service". She is a member of the UK House of Lords, the
upper house of Parliament, on the ruling Conservative side, and
her comment has led to speculation that she may be angling for
a political role.
Ironically, Dunstone will be succeeded as chairman of Dixons
Carphone by Ian Livingston, who worked at Dixons in the 1990s.
He was CEO of BT group until 2013, when he was appointed to the
House of Lords to be prime minister David
Cameron’s junior minister for trade and
investment. He has not had a government role since the 2015 UK
general election and has been deputy chairman of Dixons
Carphone.
Harding said: "Between now and May, we will work together on a
handover that maintains focus on this years’
performance and enables the new team to prepare for the next
financial year and beyond."

Read on: GlobalTelecomsBusiness

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