back to article Hacked TalkTalk CEO: Dead as a Dido? Nope, she refuses to quit

TalkTalk boss Dido Harding has refused to bow to pressure to step down from her role, as the fall out from its cyber attack debacle continues. Earlier today the company 'fessed up to having 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes breached, 28,000 obscured credit and debit card details, and 1.2 million customer email …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. sysconfig

      If the board and the major share holder support her, it only goes to show how clueless the whole outfit is. They screwed up big time, but how she handled the whole situation since last week was just abysmal. She should go, and she should take the CTO and CIO with her on the way out.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I think they need to leave her in place right now. She's the lightning rod and drawing the ire and fire. If she quits or is pushed out, the board gets to take the heat. At some point, they will sacrifice her but not until they're sure that they don't take a fall.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I think they need to leave her in place right now. She's the lightning rod and drawing the ire and fire."

          No, had she taken responsibility & quit she'd have taken some of the heat off the company.

          The CEO's job isn't management of avoidable crises, it's avoiding those crises in the first place. By not going she's showing that she doesn't know what her job was or that she doesn't realise that the crises were avoidable which in turn shows that she's not up to her job.

          She shouldn't go now for the simple reason that she shouldn't still be in post.

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        It will also probably be a case of protecting their own backs from a potential spilling of the beans by Dido Harding. The reasoning being that the poor state of affairs at TalkTalk will have existed before she took on the roll.

        1. amanfromarse

          She's been CEO for 5 years!

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            TalkTalk's had dire problems in the backend far longer than 5 years.

            Comrade Dido is mainly there as a decoy.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. LucreLout

      My opinion is that she should resign.

      My opinion is that she should be fired. No excuses for this debacle, none what-so-ever.

      1. Naselus

        "My opinion is that she should be fired."

        Frankly, it should be written into law that any company losing private data must fire it's CEO for gross misconduct with no severance package. Then we'd start seeing data security being taken seriously. Til then, it'll be relegated to a 'cost center' - i.e., something to be minimized as much as can be gotten away with.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A happy ending then?

    Big relief to board members after Dido gave them an oral update and took matters in hand.

    Paris, obviously...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A happy ending then?

      What's an oral update?

      Sounds awfully rude...

  3. Anthony Hegedus

    She has to resign. She's a liar and a cheat. If she had said she'll release customers from their stupid contracts, then that would have redeemed her, but she has NO CLUE what she is talking about. The whole company only works because of their damned indian call centres, and if she ever thought of actually offering any customer service, they would lose money. I've lost track of the countless hours I've wasted dealing with that company's total lack of professionalism, total incompetency and disingenuous lies.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      >She's a liar and a cheat.

      You say that like it's a bad thing.

      The share price was up 5% today, not far off the pre-scandal price. So the City boys think it's all fine.

      Does the opinion of anyone else matter to the Board?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If she had said she'll release customers from their stupid contracts

      Oh, well I don't care about process, just release me from MY contract as I signed up like an idiot, despite looking up the complaints, then believing them to be a good ISP

      here we have the me, me, me input

  4. Omgwtfbbqtime

    Full support of the board

    I give her three working days.

    Only reason she has full support of the board is none of them want to be the public face of clearing up this mess.

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Re: Full support of the board

      The company has failed three times in a year in a major way. The handling of this has been a shambles. The reputation of the company (never great) is in shreds. Its shares have taken a hit. Its desperately trying to stop people leaving which may stem immediate losses but they are to come.

      She is the first and only CEO of the company since the split from CPW. Five years. If she doesn't take responsibility and the pearl handled revolver - who does? Or was all that money she trousered/skirted not justified on success and risk?

      Absolutely sickening. But what do you expect from that one Chipping Norton cabal (Dunstone, Harding, Cameron, Brooks ...) rewarding themselves with knighthoods, peerages, horses and goodness knows what else and who have been mixed up in not just one corporate f***fest but many?


      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Full support of the board

        "Its desperately trying to stop people leaving which may stem immediate losses but they are to come."

        It's also desperately trying to convince people that they can't sue for not protecting their data adequately. Once that dam bursts there will end up being a faint stain where the dead horse of TalkTalk used to be.

        You can sue to recover costs/losses (including any prepaid subscriptions if you were silly enough to pay 12 months ahead) - and thanks to a recent court of appeal decision the right of claim for distress as well as actual monetary losses has been upheld.

        The thing is that TT were so thoroughly reamed out that they don't _know_ how many accounts have been compromised - and rather than pretending to be TT, then scamming the customer, a smart crook will e-epend all the data together that he can to work out how best to bilk you (It's what Experian and the other outfits do with the scraps we leave. Why do you think your marketing data is so valuable?)

    2. Duffaboy

      Re: Full support of the board

      Its your typical board/management they know best and the workforce who know better dont

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classic footballing speak, the Manager has the full support of the Board.

    When translated into normal English this means taxi for Ron Manager.

    1. PNGuinn

      re classic footballing speak

      Or, taking that even further down into the gutter, classic prime minister / errant cabinet minister speak.

      Icon - Nuke the whole outfit from space - it's the only way.

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Doesn't speak to customers - duh, like we didn't know that already?

  7. splodge

    The biggest shareholder's shareholding lead is probably growing bigger by the minute

  8. TheProf

    Women on top

    They can't fire her now, it'll look bad for the 'more women on the board' campaign.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Women on top

      "They can't fire her now, it'll look bad for the 'more women on the board' campaign."

      OTOH it doesn't look good anyway.

  9. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Criminals unlikely to defraud people's account? What planet does she live on. She's the head of a telecoms company hawking Internet access. Do they run firewalls that trust people by default because people are generally good and most wouldn't dream of cracking into their systems of course. Ha!

    Step down Dido you're in it over your head.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Talk talk has "shared the affected bank details with the major UK banks"

    ... and the rest of the UK... and abroad.

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    She should stay for the time being

    At least she had fronted up and faced the press. A lot of CEO's woul hide behind some faceless PR Hack.

    That's the good part.

    Until this 'problem' is well and truly off the front and financial pages her job is safe.


    She'd better have a place to retire too to get out of the heat. The T-T problem is only the tip of the iceberg (IMHO). A few non-exec directorships would keep the wolves at bay. Then she can re-brand herself as an expert in the sort of problems that T-T has experienced. Result ... PROFIT (for her at least)

    As for the T-T customers? She (IMHO) really does not care. No one in her position cares about us the customers. Fact of life really.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: She should stay for the time being

      "At least she had fronted up and faced the press. A lot of CEO's woul hide behind some faceless PR Hack."

      No, she should have been clearing her desk & leaving a replacement CEO to deal with it. Being the CEO in place before the hack should have been an opportunity for any media interviewer to rip her to shreds the morning after.

      Having the head of an organisation accept responsibility & quit after such a balls up is the first step to avoiding the balls up in the first place. It provides a massive incentive to understand what's happening day-to-day and avoid a culture that doesn't pass stuff that should be need-to-know up the line. At worst it eliminates the muppets by Darwinian selection. She has overall responsibility. It's what she's paid for. Accepting that responsibility for what goes wrong goes with the territory. So far her contribution seems to be being in denial of the magnitude of what's gone wrong.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: She should stay for the time being

      "A lot of CEO's woul hide behind some faceless PR Hack."

      She _is_ the faceless PR hack.

      Remember: "The purpose of a president is not to wield power, but to distract attention from those who do"

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    isn't she connected?

    I'm not from the UK, but I thought I heard she's married to the duke of candyland or something. I find it hard to believe the board can do much against the "connected" woman at this time. In time she will leave gracefully, citing a need for a new challenge or some such frippery.

    1. itzman

      Re: isn't she connected?

      Yup. Baroness Hardup of Petherton, no less.

      Oxford PPE. so absolutely one of the chaps, and absolutely clueless about technology, like Cameron et al.

      Born on a pig farm and likes horses apparently.

      1. Vic

        Re: isn't she connected?

        Born on a pig farm

        And she's mates with Camoron?

        The plot thickens...


      2. Random Handle

        Re: isn't she connected?

        Some work history - Thomas Cook, Woolworths, Tesco, Talk Talk :)

        Should say 'Corporate Nemesis' on her business card....

    2. Fraggle850

      @ chivo243 Re: isn't she connected?

      > I find it hard to believe the board can do much against the "connected" woman

      Most definitely in the past but I suspect much less so today. I suspect (and would like to believe) that shareholders and board members are more hard nosed these days.

  13. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Self-inflicted wound

    This whole episode is looking more and more like a self-inflicted-agenda-fulfilling-false-flag. Isn't it obvious? She is part of the establishment, daughter of a Lord, a Baroness herself, husband is a Conservative MP, went to a Catholic School. I wouldnt trust this lot in any sense of the word.

    The question now is what Goverment policy is next in the pipeline? More infringement of peoples rights I imagine.

    Snowdon revealed what many suspected, now that it is all out in the open, if the Government want to carry on they will need to have it enshrined in Law, and isn't that really what all this is about?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where was their insecure website developed and where is it supported I wonder....

  15. Aqua Marina

    Are we sure Dido is a woman? That person in the picture looks like a guy. A sort of ugly Michael J Fox guy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, Aqua Marina that's not a man, it's what your stereotypical

      lesbian is supposed to look like.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'full support of the board'

    Ahh, the corporate Black Spot.

  17. Blinkered

    I think someone may have posted all her personal details inc address, bank account(s), DOB, previous address, etc online, - while the post may have been bogus it did seem to include schools and university details too. Maybe she should be checking her own bank statements and avoiding Phishing calls at 8 am in the morning.

    Don't worry Dido darling I'm sure you're secure and it was just a malicious troll posting I saw....

  18. Stuart Elliott

    "shared the affected bank details with the major UK banks so they can take their usual actions to protect customers' accounts in the highly unlikely event that a criminal attempts to defraud them"

    Well, the people who rang Dido up *said* they were calling from the bank, with a thick indian accent.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. The Boojum

    It's not who you know...'s what you know about who you know.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Strap it on girl!

  22. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    And now it is Vodafone's turn


    1) will these companies learn that our data is NOT for sharing on the Internet

    2) will the head noncho's of these scumbag companies get halued away in Handcuffs?

    3) We the poor consumer get automatic compensation of say £500 a time for every breach.

    Then and only then will we the punters even begin to start feeling safe letting other have our details.

    Until then the CEO's and BOD should suck on this. ---> See Icon

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And now it is Vodafone's turn

      They are ALL at it. Posted it elsewhere, will post it again.....

      The big cheeses want to "save" money by skimping on security and dumping the workforce for cheaper labour elsewhere who really don't have a clue. Seen it half a dozen times now, and yes, I have worked for Telcos. Until these idiots at the top are made accountable for the half-arsed decisions they make that lead to security breaches of this nature, then the problem will never go away.

  23. Duffaboy

    Time to vote with your feet

    That's what I have been advising my Talk Talk users. If your hacked once then fair enough, twice is bad but three times is unforgivable

  24. KeithSloan

    Any CEO that does not understand that customers details should be encrypted and needs to make sure its implemented should not be a CEO. Resign NOW you stupid woman

  25. Badbob

    Focus on the day job

    Spend less time moaning about BT and concentrate on your own company's performance.

  26. TeeCee Gold badge

    'full support of the board'

    Presumably in the footballing[1] sense.

    [1] Note for Americans and other foreigners: A football[2] manager rumoured to be under threat is often supported by a statement from the club's board saying he has their full support. Once that statement's been trotted out, you can guarantee they'll be sacked within a fortnight.

    [2] That's probably "soccer" to you.

  27. Captain Dallas

    She's probably just negotiating how many £millions she'll take as a payoff as we speak.

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