BT is reportedly looking for a new CEO

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According to reports, BT Group CEO Philip Jansen may be leaving his position.

BT Group includes Openreach, EE, and Plusnet. Sources for the Mail on Sunday claim that BT Group has begun searching for a replacement for Jansen, who has held the position since 2018.

During his tenure, Jansen has focused on expanding the rollout of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) across the UK, reduced the company’s focus on the pay-TV market, and undertook a significant rebranding across various divisions.

However, Jansen’s time at BT hasn’t been without tough decisions and controversy.

Major cost-cutting measures, including job losses and restructuring, were introduced under Jansen’s leadership. During the company’s first national strikes since 1987, over pay disputes, he gave himself a 32 percent salary increase.

“Workers will not accept a massive deterioration in their living standards,” said Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU, at the time.

“The serious disruption this strike may cause is entirely down to Philip Jansen and his friends, who have chosen to stick two fingers up to their own workforce.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, Jansen made comments that caused “significant concern” at Ofcom. Jansen suggested there would be only “one national network” after the full-fibre rollout and that it would all “end in tears” for some alternative networks. Jansen later said his comments were taken out of context.

Jansen was widely expected to remain in his position for a while longer but headhunters are reportedly already creating a shortlist of potential candidates for his replacement.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see BT promote from within. Marc Allera, Head of Consumer at BT, and former CEO of EE, would be a prime candidate.

In 2021, French telecoms giant Altice took a 12.1 percent stake in BT to become the company’s largest stakeholder. In 2021, Altice increased its stake to 18 percent—which resulted in a national security assessment.

At the time, Altice said that its interest in BT is due to the “compelling opportunity” to invest in the firm and that it had no current takeover plans. However, plans can change and Altice may take advantage of any turbulence at BT to launch a bid for the company if there’s even the slightest interest.

(Image Credit: BT Group)

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