CABLE and Wireless chairman Lord Young and chief executive James Ross are both to resign immediately following a bitter dispute over the future direction of the company. In what has been an extraordinary 48 hours of meetings and negotiations among C & W board members, Lord Young is to be replaced by Brian Smith, the chairman of BAA, the huge airport management group. Mr Smith will now take over as non-executive chairman of C & W, which also owns 57.5 per cent of Hongkong Telecom. The loss of both Lord Young and Mr Ross comes as the company is under increasing pressure from institutional investors to mend the damaging rift. Sources last night said the decision to remove both executives had come after Lord Young refused to go, with the knowledge Mr Ross might be staying on, albeit for even a short time longer. Mr Smith is now looking for a new chief executive to succeed Mr Ross.