BT appoints European replacement in the wake of Italian accounting scandal

Oliver Gill
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Chet Patel will take over the position vacated by Corrado Sciolla at the end of January

BT today revealed the person responsible for getting to the bottom of the Italian accounting scandal that rocked the FTSE 100 stalwart in January.

Chet Patel, who is currently president of BT's global portfolio and marketing, will lead the firm's continental Europe division from 1 March.

The position was vacated by Corrado Sciolla left BT, days after news of a £530m accounting blackhole in Italy was revealed.

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At the time, BT chief executive Gavin Patterson went public as to his anger on the situation. He said: "We’ve got rid of management." Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation into BT's financial practices.

Not only did BT reveal its Italian writedown had ballooned from the £145m previously reported, but it warned on its full-year figures. Together, the news led to around a fifth being wiped off the firm's market capitalisation.

But today, shares were up around one per cent and have rebounded around seven per cent from their trough during the last week of January.

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Luis Alvarez, the head of BT's Global Services division who was parachuted in to babysit the position vacated by Sciolla, welcomed Patel to the position. He said:

With a senior leader such as Chet Patel at the head of our operations in Europe, we know that they will benefit from the excellence in leadership, unmatched portfolio expertise and strong management skills that are required for long term sustainable success in a rapidly changing world.

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