C&W’s Smith departs after Energis buyout

Cable & Wireless group director of corporate and public affairs Lesley Smith is set to quit the FTSE 100 telecoms company, two months after it acquired Energis.

Smith, who announced her departure last week, said she would stay at C&W to manage the handover of some of her duties to her
replacement, Energis corporate office director Clare Waters.

Waters, who joined Energis from Freeserve (now Wanadoo) three years ago, will inherit Smith's title and report to C&W CEO Francesco Caio. But Smith's regulatory duties will pass to group general counsel Andrew Garard.

The transfer of duties will conclude on completion of the Energis deal in the next few weeks.

Originally director of PA at Burson-Marsteller, Smith became group director of corporate and public affairs at Dixons in 2000
before joining C&W last year (PRWeek, 9 January).

Smith's departure comes at an interesting time for C&W, which in spite of the Energis deal has had difficulty in getting City investors on-side following a profit warning in October.

Last month C&W chairman Richard Lapthorne attacked what he described as 'short-termist' City views, which he said were undervaluing the business and making it a bid target.

Smith is believed to have another job lined up. Caio said in an internal memo that Smith had delayed her exit until the Energis deal was complete.

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