back to article Dido queen of carnage steps down from TalkTalk

Chief exec of TalkTalk, Dido Harding, is to step down from the company after seven years in the role. Harding presided over TalkTalk during its catastrophic cyber-attack in 2015, in which nearly 157,000 users' financial details were divulged and which cost it £42m. Founder of the biz Charles Dunstone will take over from …

  1. Richard Hewitt
    Coat

    Hmm.

    Never did like White Flag.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. RichUK

        Re: Hmm.

        You forgot the Dodo.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm.

      What white flag. It is victory flag.

      She walks out with her had high, connections and CV well padded and a golden handshake. I would call that a victory.

      She should have been sacked ten times by now.

      1. Halfmad Silver badge

        Re: Hmm.

        She'll be in another high paid job within a few months. We need the ICO to start using it's teeth more and we need executives to be held to account by our justice system when cock ups on this scale happen. There are reasons they are considered accountable - yet we never hold them to account.

        1. Mike Richards Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          We need ICO fines that are proportionate to the size of the business that fucked up. A £400k fine is a rounding error for a company as big as TalkTalk. A £4m fine might make them think again about updating their SQL, £40m and they'd start taking information security very seriously indeed.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Hmm.

            "£40m and they'd start taking information security very seriously indeed."

            Oh but they do. They tell us so. Every time they get pwned.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm.

            "We need ICO fines that are proportionate to the size of the business that fucked up."

            We'd have had that with the EU GDPR, but now we're Brexiting I expect it'll be as-you-were for feckless corporations.

        2. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          Responsibility and accountability

          Seems the bosses like to be paid a stack of cash because they have all the responsibility (when things are going right)

          Seems the bosses like to pass on the accountability to some poor pleb down the line and sack them when things go wrong

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm.

        Totally agree. TalkTalk were lucky. The fine should have been 4 million quid. As for Dildo , she gave a pathetic performance on TV demonstrated total lack of knowledge of elementary data security. This was exemplified by the woffle put by her sidekick Ms Harrison. Have no fear Dido will fall on her feet, Ofcom perhaps? TalkTalk should have fired her! A removal of her title also would not go amiss either.

    3. Andy 97

      Re: Hmm.

      That comment was One Step Too Far.

    4. Michael Strorm

      Whatever happened to Fido Dido anyway?

      @Richard Hewitt; "Never did like White Flag."

      Joking aside... Dido joining TalkTalk was a bad idea all round- her style was totally unsuited to the likes of "Life's What You Make It" and "It's My Life".

      Maybe they should have got her to sing instead of playing drums.

    5. It was like it when I found it

      Re: Hmm.

      Loved her singing on Stan, it all went down hill from there on in.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nowt

    will change.

    Same shit service, same lax attitude to customer data....

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Nowt

      What? You mean it 'll IMPROVE?

  3. smudge
    Holmes

    "...focus more on my activities in public service.”

    Well, if Giuliani can advise Trump on cyber-security, I'm sure she can advise the UK Government on it.

    "Spend nothing, learn nothing, and talk your way out of it."

    1. teebie

      Re: "...focus more on my activities in public service.”

      In fairness to her, she completely failed to talk her way out of anything.

  4. seanj

    I can see the press release now...

    "Dido's vast experience in running a successful private sector technology company (which has never ever ever been hacked or lost customer details and anyone who says otherwise will be 'renditioned') makes her the ideal choice to take the lead at the Information Commissioners Office and managing digital policy going forward..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can see the press release now...

      Maybe she can be a good deputy to Guiliani !

    2. paulf
      Coat

      Re: I can see the press release now...

      Perhaps it just said "So long, and thanks for all the Phish" before PR got their hands on it.

    3. tr1ck5t3r

      Re: I can see the press release now...

      Companies are not legally obliged to admit they have been hacked, and that's when they have discovered they have been hacked.

      See no Evil, Hear no Evil.

      Some companies wont ever know they have been hacked because the data is not the sort that's useful to make public, and is lucrative to just milk over time, like bank accounts.

  5. Dwarf Silver badge

    A step in the right direction

    Its a step in the right direction as long as they change their approach to the services they provide as well.

    1. Value is very different thing to a low price

    2. The throughput and reliability of the Internet connection matters.

    3. Security matters

    4. Security matters. I mention it twice as its important and in case you didn't get it the first time.

    5. Customer service matters

    6. Don't take customers for granted - for example what you do with their personal data.

    Anyone want to send her a "not sorry you're leaving" card.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A step in the right direction

      I've actually had decent telephone service from TalkTalk, and performance has been fine to. Most issues are caused by BT Openreach anyway.

      My main, massive, objection is their spam-overloaded login page. It takes AGES just to log on because TalkTalk has to load every tracker known to man. And they pretend that they are looking up my details during this time, which makes me even more annoyed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A step in the right direction

        I had a look, and No-Script (in Opera on Linux) blocked no less than 31 scripts (31 distinct URLs). Even with all that blocked, it's still slow (perhaps they run things on a 1980s mainframe via 13 wrappers).

        I don't think 31 different web-pests need to know that I have just logged in to TalkTalk, and they certainly don't need to run anything in my browser.

        (On Opera I also have to reload the whole page towards the end, or it will just sit forever.)

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: A step in the right direction

      "Anyone want to send her a "not sorry you're leaving" card."

      Do they make those with a chip that plays "Ding dong the witch is dead" when you open the card?

  6. HmmmYes

    Dont forget the 'L' between the 'Di' and 'do'

    How can a compnay built on being cheap and sh1t not reflect that in he CEOs pay?

    NMW should suffice for this shambles.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I said it...

    Now off to do some other high paying work with less risk, probably something hubby has lined up for her ;-/

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to complain about the outrageous sexism present at Talltalk, the CEO is going to replaced by another woman, Tristia Harrison ! This is such a trampling of men's rights and their opportunities to rise to the upper echelons of business.

    I'm going to console myself by listening to bloke's hour on Talksport.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      ...the CEO is going to replaced by another woman, Tristia Harrison!

      Doesn't "tristia" mean "sorrow" in Latin? Seems about right for Talktalk.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

    Don't tell me she is going to try for parliament - an even bigger chance to fuck up something really big

    1. I am the liquor Silver badge

      Re: “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

      Pity the poor public she plans to attempt to serve.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

      A job at Ofcom is more likely?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

      Parliament? Too late, she's already there. Baroness Harding of Winscome. Since 2014.

  10. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Still in the old boys club

    I wonder if a lovely low-hours high-wage board position at a government quango is what she has lined up as "public service".

    She might have got her timing wrong now her buddy Dave Cameron has been punted as well. She maybe still has enough Oxbridge connections to land something nice.

    1. Missing Semicolon
      Flame

      Re: Still in the old boys club

      That's the thing that makes you want to get out there with the pitchforks - she will slide in to a well-paid, well-pensioned Quango job with even less responsibility for her actions than the current one.

      "Public Service" Pah!

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. gautam

    Good Riddance

    But whats next in store? That's the bigger worry.

    And I doubt the pathetic & negative culture they have fostered past few years will be able to be changed anytime sooner.

    Just call their call centre (any division) and try to get an intelligent answer first time !

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good Riddance

      "But whats next in store? ... I doubt the pathetic & negative culture they have fostered past few years will be able to be changed anytime sooner."

      Given that it's the existing MD who's stepping up I'd say your doubts are well founded.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction

    Her package was close to £7 million and not 2 milllion mentioned in the report.

  14. wolfetone Silver badge

    Dido's First Job Interview

    "So, tell me more about the last place you worked in."

    "I worked for TalkTalk over seeing the company and the progress it made."

    "TalkTalk you say? Oh, oh! Wasn't that the company that got hacked?"

    "Erm, yes it was but.."

    "And wasn't it the company that said there was no problems with the security of their routers even though there was?"

    "Well, yes that was said but.."

    "I see, so tell me again why you want this job?"

    ".... because I need the money and no one likes me at home."

    "Well, in that case I'm happy to say - welcome to wonderful world of being a UKPC Parking Attendant. Welcome aboard!"

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Dido's First Job Interview

      But it won't be. As already noted above. It'll be teh usual buddies looking after each other and so a nice, well paid sinecure to walk into. Not necessarily at the tax payers' expense, though that does seem to be her aim. . And she already has more than enough dosh not to worry about where the next jar of caviar is coming from.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: Dido's First Job Interview

        There's also a lucrative market for massive failures to make a fortune giving after dinner speeches to businesses. So expect to see Dido following in George Osborne and William Hague's well-remunerated footsteps.

        Toss in a couple of one day a month non-executive directorships, and an animal charity CEO figleaf and she's nicely set for life.

    2. h4rm0ny
      Unhappy

      Re: Dido's First Job Interview

      >>".... because I need the money and no one likes me at home."

      Well, I'm pretty sure that part is a lie, at least.

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    From the original storm

    https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/10/30/dido_refuses_to_bow_to_pressure_to_resign/

    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. 0laf Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: From the original storm

      Diana Mary "Dido" Harding, Baroness Harding of Winscombe and daughter of Lord Harding, wife of Tory MP John Penrose, who studied politics, economics and philosophy at Cambridge university with David Cameron former UK Prime Minister (who awarded her peerage).

      So aye connected a wee bit.

      If you see her job profile on wiki she went 1st job graduate placement, 2nd job Director of a major UK company. That shite doesn't happen outside the upper class bubble.

      I note she was a director at Woolworths as well.

      Woolies then TalkTalk quite a CV there, clearly qualified for an important position in the public sector.

      If normal folk did that well in their jobs the next one would be finding enough plastic to insulate the cardboard box you'd be sleeping in that night.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: From the original storm

        Olaf

        You got a downvote for that???????????????

        How, why, who? Is there someone who thinks she's not from the ranks of the toffs? Or considers that her CV is packed with successful experience

        1. Roj Blake

          Re: From the original storm

          Maybe Dido reads el Reg...

  16. Commswonk Silver badge

    Three Thoughts...

    My first reaction was Ding Dong the witch is dead.

    Then I read and focus more on my activities in public service and thought "let's head for the hills"

    Then I read Dido has been a tireless, energetic and effective force for good from the day she joined TalkTalk. As a result of her leadership and total commitment to all of us who work here and our customers, she has helped transform TalkTalk into a much stronger business. She leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for the future and thought "there simply isn't a sick - bag big enough".

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Yup, that's definitely a grade A whitewash right there. And everyone is saying the words with a straight face. There comes a time where you think there just might be a bit too much education in some circles.

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my monocle . . .

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my monocle..."

        Gasp! You.. you are not using disposable monocles?!?

  17. davenewman

    Great headline

    Any comparisons with the original Dido, Queen of Carthage?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Great headline

      Dido of Carthage killed herself, not her kingdom, though.

  18. adam payne

    "In a statement she said it was to to hand over the reins at TalkTalk “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

    Oh no you can't be serious. Quango advising the government on security?

    "she has helped transform TalkTalk into a much stronger business".

    Did you just seriously say that?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TalkTalk wrote a letter telling me I wasn't affected by the leak. Yet, I've had at least 20 phone calls form India claiming that it's from TalkTalk, and I have a problem that I only can fix by switching on my PC and following instructions... (I usually put them on hold with some excuse.)

  20. hatti

    Oh really?

    “and focus more on my activities in public service.”

    Just make sure it's not working with the ICO.

  21. teebie

    Transcription error

    "Dido has been a tireless, energetic and effective force for good from the day she joined TalkTalk"

    should read

    "Dido has been a tireless, energetic ineffective force for good from the day she joined TalkTalk"

  22. RavingDaveD

    Looks like the City has similar views on the outgoing CEO as majority of posters here. Share price up 8% at lunchtime today!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Share price up 8% at lunchtime today"

      It would be a good idea if the terms attached to bonuses included having to give them back if leaving makes the share price go up. After all it signifies their effect on company value was negative.

  23. Commswonk Silver badge

    Radio 4 News...

    Just heard on Radio 4's World at One that TalkTalk's share price has gone up 8% following the announcement of DH's departure..

    Potential "employers" might like to take note, think again and abandon the idea.

    Disclaimer; I am not a TalkTalk shareholder.

  24. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'Dunstone said he was "excited" at the prospect of spending more time on TalkTalk.'

    Quite possibly he's the only person ever to have said that.

  25. Zmodem

    can't complain for £20 a month for 2 years fixed price

    90% of customers never call customer services, so customer services and all the complaints mean nothing

    you can get personnal details off the government, so it does'nt matter as long as payment details are encrypted, but then to get a credit card and a free credit rating, you only need the info you can get off the government

    1. Roj Blake

      "90% of customers never call customer services, so customer services and all the complaints mean nothing"

      If 10% of your customers are calling customer services, you are doing something seriously wrong.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        If anything over about 1% are phoning customer service there is probably something wrong. There shouldn't be many reasons to phone.

        And if the >1% who are sufficiently ticked off to be calling then get the run around compounding the problem there is something seriously wrong with that company's attitude to service. As in when you are in a hole you shouldn't still be digging.

        That being said, there are far too many companies who have a bad attitude to customer service and complaints. First they hide their contact details behind a web site that takes you round in circles from "contact us" to "FAQs" to "contact us". If you can find a contact it will be answered by a robot who will give a boiler plate reply that probably has no relevance to your query, other than s a key word or two* . If you persevere you will get to a human who seems unwilling to understand what the problem is, the next step will get you to another human who seems to understand, but won't take responsibility for a resolution ( My favourite response here is "We can't do that". Why can't they, it isn't physically difficult?) and so on........

        *I'm sure we've all met that sort of thing. You email to complain, say, that all the seats on the train were broken or something of that sort and they reply with something like " we are sorry that you couldn't find a seat, however at busy times......" ( Just an example, not a real occurrence).

  26. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

    Surely just a coincidence but...

    Shares in TalkTalk rose 8% on the announcement.

    Talktalk, the worst ISP I have ever had the misfortune to deal with (for clients and friends i might add, i wasn't stupid enough to use them) and that was before and during Dido's reign.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Surely just a coincidence but...

      "i wasn't stupid enough to use them"

      You didn't have to be stupid to use them. You could have been with an originally excellent ISP that they bought.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely just a coincidence but...

      "i wasn't stupid enough to use them"

      Who are you stupid enough to use then? ;-)

      Besides, I ended up with them after several takeovers (initially Pipex). I've been threatening (initiating) to leave several times, which is why I have a fairly decent price for my 60Mb down / 20Mb up link (real speeds, it's 80Mb down in theory).

  27. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Who knows...

    Perhaps she'll just slide off into the sunset to record that difficult third album...

    1. Zmodem

      Re: Who knows...

      you will have more chance of amazon buying them and filling the offices with 1000 fake plants

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=talk+talk+offices&source=lnms&tbm=isch

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She's left...

    to Purcell other interests.

  29. creepy gecko

    Baroness?

    I gather from a quick perusal of her Wikipedia page that Dido is a life peer. Presumably she can sit in the House of Lords. Is that the public service she intends to spend more time on?

    She'll probably end up as a Government minister for something IT related.

    1. nemo183

      Re: Baroness?

      Having read through most of this, three years later the phrase that springs to mind is "Well, you're not laughing now". Or, as a friend would say, "Christ on a bike... misery on stilts",

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A suitable leaving card ...

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/287518625/mature-youre-leaving-funny-leaving-card?ref=shop_home_active_19

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This woman claimed she always responded to customers. So... Elderly parents in the sticks, blind Mum ( 89) and Dad in hospital without phone for two months in winter. No buses and dependent on taxis. Agonies trying to get some sort of response from Talktalk's quasi - English speakers reading from cue cards. Eventually got response from Dido's office ( a lackey) but had to fight for a refund and the generous compensation of 20 quid. No, I didn't say a year's free service and a bunch of flowers- I said twenty fucking quid.

    Switched my folks to Plusnet where you can speak to articulate and responsive staff- a company that has actual policies for the elderly and vulnerable. Actually most providers will look like saints when compared with neo - criminal shysters Talktalk. C'mon Dido, follow your namesake and do the right thing.

  32. Paul

    I was very amused when TalkTalk created a dedicated forum area for discussing being safe online

    ( https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/Staying-safe-online/bd-p/qa_safeonline ),

    that many people asked them about being hacked and they didn't respond

    https://community.talktalk.co.uk/t5/Staying-safe-online/Have-TalkTalk-properly-secured-their-internal-systems-yet/m-p/1992644#U1992644

  33. NanoMeter

    Dido and Talk Talk

    Dido was a member of Talk Talk?

  34. Colonel Mad

    Blinder

    Sorry missed this headline earlier, best ever!

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