Barclays chief defends new COO Idzik from snipers

Barclays chief defends new COO Idzik from snipers

Barclays Bank chief executive John Varley has sprung to the defence of group chief operating officer Paul Idzik after an "inflammatory" personal attack on the newly-appointed COO was posted on an internal staff message board.

The mail message charged Idzik with "hypocrisy" for blocking spending on consultants while appointing his old firm Booz Allen to conduct a review. Idzik was also impugned for arriving by helicopter for a two-hour meeting at the bank's IT support division in Poole, Dorset.

The anonymous posting was first picked up and reported on in the FT's Mudlark column.

Unusually, Varley himself leapt to his COO's defence, accepting that the points raised merited discussion. He said it was "entirely appropriate" that Idzik should employ consultants to conduct his own review while challenging their deployment elsewhere.

The chartering of the helicopter was also defended as a sound business decision, relating to a demand from Varley for immediate reassurance from Idzik that a payroll problem would not happen again.

Idzik was promoted to group COO by Varley in December, having spent the previous five years as chief administrative officer at Barclays Capital.

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