Tiscali starts major management team reshuffle in wake of Homechoice buy

Tiscali is expected to appoint commercial director Alex Hole as head of its portal, in the latest stage of a major reshuffle of its senior management team.

Richard Ayers has confirmed he is to leave the internet company in the coming weeks as part of the reshuffle. He is planning to take a career break until the New Year.

The company refused to comment on speculation about the new management line-up. But it is understood to be interviewing candidates for the role of commercial director this week and it is also seeking a new content director. Sources close to the company have indicated that both are likely to be internal appointments.

Hole, along with the commercial and content directors, will report to Neal McCleave, managing director for media and customer operations. Mary Turner will remain chief executive officer.

The management shake-up comes in the wake of the company’s purchase of the struggling Homechoice, the TV over broadband service, earlier in the year.

There are expected to be further departures from the company, but most are to be concentrated in the customer services areas and involve relatively junior staff.

Ayers had been portal director of Tiscali UK for almost six years, leading it through significant growth. He joined the company when it bought World Online in January 2001. Prior to that he had worked at the BBC’s online news operation.

The Italian-owned Tiscali is one of several major internet companies going through significant changes at the moment. AOL was recently bought by Carphone Warehouse in a £370m deal, an acquisition which is also expected to lead to job cuts. Earlier this week Thus, formally Scottish Telecom, put its internet access business Demon up for sale.

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