Robertson takes up C&W role

NATO Secretary General George Robertson is to become deputy chairman of telecoms group Cable & Wireless from next year, it was announced today.

NATO Secretary General George Robertson is to become deputy chairman of telecoms group Cable & Wireless from next year, it was announced today.

The part-time position will see Robertson take a significant role in the company’s dealings with the governments of countries where C&W operates.

He will have stepped down as general secretary by the time he takes on the appointment in February.

The London-based group has not disclosed how much the former UK defence secretary will be paid.

The recruitment of George Robertson is the latest high-profile addition to the C&W board after the company enlisted Graham Howe, a former founding director at Orange, as one of its new non-executive directors.

The new team has the task of hauling the company out of a two-year decline which has seen shares slump following a string of profits warnings amid problems at its Internet and data services division Global.

Those problems led to the departure of chief executive Graham Wallace, who was replaced by Netscalibur founder Francesco Caio in April.

Chairman Richard Lapthorne, who joined C&W at the start of this year, said he was “absolutely delighted” that Robertson had agreed to the role.

Mr Lapthorne added: “He brings to the company a unique set of skills and values that will be ideal in helping us successfully manage and develop our worldwide group of national telecommunications businesses.”

He said C&W was aware that its strategy involved managing assets that were strategically important to governments and that Lord Robertson’s reputation and skills would contribute to “building trust in that process”.

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