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December 2, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Getting Plessey and GEC’s telecommunications businesses together is beginning to look as fraught an exercise as creating a new political party out of the Liberal and Social Democratic parties, and yesterday David Dey, Plessey’s head of telecommunications, resigned from the company. Dey, an ex-IBMer and the man behind many of the joint ventures the company has established recently around Europe, was chairman-designate of the planned GEC-Plessey Telecommunications operating company, with Richard Reynolds of GEC taking the role of chief executive. A skeleton organisation is already in place with the beginnings of central management structure reportedly running the public telecommunications side of the business. It appears that it was over the appointment of GEC’s head of telecommunications Richard Reynolds as chief executive of the GEC-Plessey operating company that Dey resigned. The joint venture company now looks likely to suffer delay and one Plessey director is sceptical about the joint venture company starting operations before June 1988. Plessey officially refutes that idea saying as GEC did at its results meeting yesterday that February was a more likely date now, and that it would certainly start before the new financial year in April. Both were hoping to start the new company on 1 January, but Plessey made it clear at its interim results meeting that there were still problems to be straightened out. Plessey is also not overly enthusiastic about buying GEC’s semiconductor business, and it is now likely to go to one of the continental contenders. The division of Marconi Electronic Devices Ltd on the block makes specialised microprocessors, and has annual sales of some UKP20m, a plant in Lincoln, and a small unit in Wembley, Middlesex.

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