The sudden departure of Virgin Media CEO Steve Burch for what was described as “family and personal reasons” are genuine “rather than the euphemism usually trotted out to cover up a sudden corporate or political parting of the ways,” says the Financial Times. The Daily Telegraph adds that his wife is believed to be ill.
All the papers are agreed that the return of the former Comcast executive to the United States ends an unhappy chapter for the UK cable company. Burch should take the credit for improvements in Virgin’s customer services record, but it has been chairman Jim Mooney who has been leading the way on the company’s now stalled private equity buyout.
The Guardian reports that Burch’s departure will not impact further on the sale. “This is not going to derail it in any way, shape or form,” a senior source tells the paper.
Burch will have no problem in buying additional luggage for his journey home. The Daily Telegraph reports “he will receive a lump sum of $1.5m, equivalent to twice his base salary, and restricted stock of 250,000 shares, currently worth $22.70 each, in two tranches during January and March next year.”