Tuesday, 9 October 2007

BT's Andy Green to become CEO at Logica

Must admit, Andy Green wasn’t on our list of candidates to take over from Martin Read at Logica. If you remember, Read had announced back in May that he would leave in Sept 07 when Logica issued a profits warning. Despite a decent period of notice, Logica’s headhunters failed to come up with a candidate. Jim McKenna was appointed acting CEO which promptly led to fellow director Didier Hermann resignation saying he couldn’t work for McKenna. So Green filling the CEO role is long overdue.

Green is a long term BT ‘staffer’ of 21 years service. From 2001 until earlier this year, Green was the CEO at BT Global Services. In April 07, Green was appointed CEO of BT Group Strategy and Operations. As such it was a pretty big job, embracing the design, build, operate and maintain functions of all of BT’s customer-facing operations (Retail, Wholesale, Global Services and Exact) As such Green was seen as a candidate for BT CEO’s Ben Verwaayen’s CEO job when/if he steps down. We will now wait and see who moves up to that role. Ian Livingstone and Francois Barrault would now be front runners.

So, is Green the right person to lead Logica? BT Global Services had revenues of over £9b – some three times that of Logica. But BT Global Services is a quite different kind of “IT Services” company to Logica. Its closest comparison is BT GS’ operations in the UK. Under Green, BT GS was slow to embrace the offshore model – just like Logica – and found itself under significant profit pressure as a result.

Understanding IT services has always come difficult for both Telecomms and IT hardware companies. They really are different! They require different management techniques and different performance metrics. We have long doubted that BT really gets these differences. Green will have an interesting induction to the world of IT services at Logica. But Green brings a strong brain and global big company experience.

Logica is the UK’s last remaining IT Services company of any size. Bluntly, we had thought that it might be bought by BT to create a global UK-owned IT Services player. Maybe that is still not completely impossible. Either way, we wish Logica and Green well.

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