Cable and Wireless CEO steps down as former British Gas director takes reins

Telecoms company Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) has announced the appointment of Phil Bentley as new chief executive officer. The former managing director of British Gas will take over from Tony Rice, who is stepping down. (Release)

Rice's decision to leave the group comes before the establishment of CWC's new executive office in Miami. Rice joined Cable & Wireless as a non-executive director in 2003, going on to become finance director, and then chief executive at CWC. He will leave the board at the end of this year, with Bentley taking stepping into the breach from 1 January.

Bentley, who was managing director of British gas from 2007 to 2013, led the turnaround of the energy company that saw profits increase from £300m to £1.1bn.

Sir Richard Lapthorne, chairman of CWC, commented:

"CWC is entering a new phase. Following our recent divestments, we now have a business with a single geographic focus and a strong balance sheet and we are investing in growth areas of mobile data and high-speed broadband. I am delighted to have attracted someone of Phil Bentley's calibre to lead the Company."