Marconi in crisis over missing deal

Marketers at Marconi are facing an uncertain future after the beleaguered telecoms equipment maker failed to win a role in BT’s £10bn network revamp.

The company was effectively put up for sale last week following BT’sÂdecisionÂtoÂhandÂthe work to eight overseas rivals.

Marconi warned this week that job losses are likely. A spokesman says the sales and marketing department could be among those affected.

The company employs 4,500 people in the UK and as many as 2,000 jobs are thought to be at risk. Marconi’s senior marketer is chief marketing officer Martin Harriman.

Marconi’s share price fell almost 50 per cent last week, when BT told the company it had failed to land any work on the £10bn plan to build a “21st-century network”.

In recent months, it has been working with Morgan Stanley to find a suitable candidate to take it over, but the board has, in effect, hoisted the “for sale” sign following last week’s news.

There are now fears that Marconi will become another MG Rover, but Trade and Industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said this week that the Government is unable to spend taxpayers’ money to protect workers’ jobs.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here