BT refills Biden role in top marketing U-turn

BT has performed a dramatic U-turn by appointing a marketing and sales director to its personal communications division only three months after ousting Michael Biden and claiming the position was obsolete.

The post is going to Michael Wagner, currently head of network marketing. He was recruited by Biden last September but Biden was forced out early this year after a power struggle at the top of the company (MW January 12).

Biden’s responsibilities were absorbed by the division’s managing director, Stafford Taylor, and the official line was that Biden would not be replaced.

Observers believe the restructure was part of Taylor’s master plan to take control of marketing as BT prepared to boost its budget to 180m- partly to fight the cable industry.

BT created a special anti-cable unit, called Win Back, last month run by the US consultant Ed Carter. Sources suggest that Carter, originally employed as a database consultant, has increasingly taken control of BT’s marketing.

“I think they are desperate to rein in Carter somehow,” says one BT insider. Wagner’s role will be more restricted than Biden’s, but head of marketing communications Charlotte Pinder and David Duxbury head of consumer marketing will report to Wagner.

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