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Tuesday, 2 October, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Amstrad's chief executive resigns
Amstrad's e-mailer
Amstrad has pinned its hopes the e-m@iler
RJ "Bob" Watkins, the chief executive of UK consumer electronics firm Amstrad, has resigned after the company's profits slumped.

Chairman Sir Alan Sugar will replace Mr Watkins who was with the company for 25 years, the last five of which he spent as chief executive.

In a statement, Sir Alan thanked Mr Watkins for his contribution and wished him "success in the future".

Last Thursday, Amstrad reported that annual profits had slumped to 1m from 13m.

Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan Sugar will add the job of chief executive to his role as chairman
Sales halved to 65m in the 12 months to 30 June from 128m and operating profits were 4.4m, down from 13.1m.

An Amstrad spokesman told BBC News Online he could not give further details about why Mr Watkins was leaving or what he would go on to do.

Before his role as chief executive, Mr Watkins served on the board of Amstrad as director of manufacturing and is credited by the company for playing a key role in the revolution of the personal computer market in the UK.

Amstrad said last week that sales were lower than the previous financial year when digital satellite decoder deliveries were boosted by BSkyB's decision to give the boxes away free.

The company is pinning its future on its latest product, the e-m@iler, which allows people to use email and other communications without using a personal computer.

The company has demonstrated its confidence in the loss-making e-m@iler phone by raising its stake in the joint venture.

See also:

27 Sep 01 | Business
Profits slump at Amstrad
28 Sep 00 | Business
Amstrad brushes off e-m@iler costs
23 Sep 99 | The Company File
Digital TV helps Amstrad recovery
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