BT appoints Allison Kirkby as CEO

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BT has officially announced the appointment of Allison Kirkby as its new chief executive.

Kirkby will succeed Philip Jansen and is expected to assume the role by the end of January 2024 at the latest.

“I’m incredibly honoured to have been appointed as the next chief executive of BT Group. BT is such an important company for the UK, and our many customers both in the UK and internationally and is uniquely placed to help everyone benefit from the rapid advances in digitalisation,” commented Kirkby.

“Our products and services have never been more important to how our customers live and work, and thanks to the significant investment BT is putting into digital infrastructure and in the modernisation of its services, I see us playing an even more important role going forward.”

Kirkby is a well-respected figure in the telecoms industry, having served as the CEO of Telia Company – a digital communications and telecommunications provider in the Nordic and Baltic regions – since early 2020. She’s also held prominent leadership positions in various telecommunications companies, including Virgin Media, TDC, and Tele2 AB.

Before venturing into the telecoms industry, Kirkby garnered valuable experience in financial and operational roles at Procter & Gamble, where she also qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. Her diverse expertise and extensive knowledge of the industry make her a fitting choice for the top leadership role at BT Group.

Adam Crozier, BT Group Chairman, commented:

“The board is delighted to have appointed Allison as our new chief executive. She is a proven leader, with deep sector experience and a history of having transformed businesses.

I look forward to supporting her as we drive our long-term strategy to transform BT Group, ensuring it delivers for all our stakeholders.”

Kirkby, who has been a Non-Executive Director at BT Group since 2019, affirmed her full support for the company’s strategy and commitment to contributing to the growth of customers, shareholders, and the UK economy. Her familiarity with the organisation, gained over the past four years on the board, is expected to facilitate an orderly leadership transition and smooth handover of responsibilities.

Philip Jansen, the outgoing Chief Executive, will continue to serve in his role until the end of January 2024. He will then hand over the reins to Allison Kirkby and will be available to provide support during the transition until the end of March 2024. Following that, Jansen intends to retire from executive life.

Regarding remuneration, Kirkby’s pay will align with the Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders in July 2023. Her package will include an annual salary of £1,100,000, a cash allowance in lieu of pension amounting to 10 percent of salary, and other benefits in accordance with the company’s Remuneration Policy.

Additionally, Kirkby will be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 120 percent of her salary, subject to performance. Half of the bonus will be deferred into BT Group shares for an additional three years without any further performance conditions.

Furthermore, she will receive a long-term Restricted Share Plan (RSP) award equivalent to 200 percent of her salary, vesting in three equal tranches three, four, and five years after the grant. She will be required to hold all vested shares until five years after the grant.

Kirkby will be expected to build a shareholding equivalent to 500 percent of her salary within five years.

The announcement of Kirkby’s appointment has generated positive anticipation among investors and industry experts. With her leadership skills and expertise, many are looking forward to witnessing BT Group’s continued growth and development under her guidance.

(Image Credit: BT)

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