Philip Jansen to leave BT

The board of directors of BT Group has announced that Philip Jansen, the company’s chief executive, intends to step down from his role within the next 12 months.

BT has said it has been conducting a formal succession process in preparation for Jansen’s exit from the company.

Adam Crozier, chairman, BT Group, said, “Philip has done an excellent job in his time at BT and the Board is fully supportive of our long-term strategy which he and his team are pursuing. Whilst we are still in the early years of that transformation we are on track to deliver.

“The succession process to replace Philip is something that the Board was well prepared for. All appropriate candidates are being considered and we expect to be able to update the market on progress over the course of the summer. In the meantime, it is business as usual, and we are focused on executing our plans and delivering for all our stakeholders.”

Philip Jansen, chief executive, BT Group (pictured), added, “We’ve made a lot of progress over the last four and half years and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to date. We’re investing heavily in both BT’s and the UK’s future. We’re building like fury, have now passed over 11m homes with fibre, have got 5G service to 68 per cent of the country and our customer service is much improved.

“This is creating a much stronger BT Group which is starting to drive growth for both investors and the UK. But there’s a lot more to do and I am fully committed to driving the business forward until I hand over to my successor.”

Kester Mann, director, consumer and connectivity, CCS Insight, discussed the factors that might have influenced Jansen’s decision. He explained, “Mr Jansen had been looking on increasingly shaky ground at BT. The company’s shares have almost halved since he took over in early 2019, while recent inflammatory comments about the role of fibre altnets drew concern from Ofcom.

“The CEO has endured a rollercoaster ride at BT. He presided over the operator’s impressive response to the pandemic; embarked on a massive cost-saving drive; oversaw a major acceleration in the deployment of full fibre; witnessed Patrick Drahi take a near-25 per cent stake in the company; and watched thousands of staff strike over pay.

“Confirmation of the new CEO is expected within weeks and while many names will inevitably be linked to the role, there appears no obvious initial candidate to take it on. BT will likely cast its net wide, both internally, elsewhere within the telco sector, and potentially in a different industry altogether.”