Allison Kirkby to take the reins at BT Group

BT Group has announced the appointment of Allison Kirkby as chief executive.

The company said Kirkby will take over from Philip Jansen as chief executive by the end of January 2024 “at the latest”. Kirkby has been a non-executive director at BT Group since 2019 and is also a non-executive director and member of the audit committee of Brookfield Asset Management Limited.

She joins BT Group from Telia Company, where she has held the roles of president and CEO since early 2020. Telia, headquartered in Sweden, provides telecommunications services to 25 million customers across the Nordic and Baltic region.

She moved into the TMT sector in 2010, initially joining Virgin Media, and was most recently president and CEO of TDC, the largest telecommunications company in Denmark. Prior to that, she was president and CEO of Tele2 AB, the largest challenger telecommunications company in Sweden and the Baltics.

Earlier in her career Kirkby held a number of financial and operational roles at Procter & Gamble and qualified as a chartered management accountant in 1990 whilst at Guinness.

Allison Kirkby said, “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.

“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.

“Having been a member of the BT Group Board for the past four years, I’m fully supportive of our strategy and am excited about leading it into its next phase of development, as we grow to support customers, shareholders and the UK economy.”

Adam Crozier, chairman of BT Group, added, “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.”

Philip Jansen will be available to support the handover until the end of March 2024, at which point he intends to retire from executive life.

In respect of the transition period, Adam Crozier said, “Philip continues to lead the business very effectively as can be seen in the good progress shown at our most recent financial results.

“Given Allison is already on the board, we are confident we will have an orderly leadership transition and handover of responsibilities.”