‘Poacher Turns Gamekeeper’ – openreach Executive Team Announced

BT today revealed the top management team for openreach, the new multi-billion pound business that will have responsibility for the nationwide local BT network. This team will ensure openreach is operational by late January 2006 offering equal, transparent and high quality access to that network.

Steve Robertson, chief executive of openreach, is to be joined by ten senior managers who will form his executive team. These include Peter Cross as chief finance officer. Peter was previously BT director of corporate finance.

Anne Heal, BT’s director of regulatory affairs, will be openreach’s managing director for sales, products and marketing. Anne was one of the key BT architects of the regulatory settlement that has led to the creation of openreach. In her new role she will be responsible for the business’ product set including all local loop unbundling and wholesale line rental products.

Emma Gilthorpe, Group Director of Regulatory Affairs at Cable and Wireless, is set to join the team from 1st December. She will take up the position of director, equivalence and public affairs. Emma’s role will give her a wide ranging and powerful remit across openreach to ensure both the letter and the spirit of the settlement is delivered in full. She will be responsible for ensuring that all of openreach’s processes and policies – from how service is delivered to how new systems and products are prioritised – are fair and equivalent for all communication providers.

The team has also been strengthened by a series of other appointments to ensure openreach has a wealth of operational experience. The aim is to deliver high levels of service to companies who invest in LLU and WLR thereby allowing them to satisfy their customers.

Steve Robertson, openreach chief executive, welcomed the appointments saying: “I am delighted to announce my top team. It is an incredibly strong team composed of some of the best people in both BT and the industry. The clock is now ticking but I am confident this team can have openreach up and running by January next year.

“I am particularly pleased that Emma Gilthorpe has joined us from Cable and Wireless. Emma enjoys huge respect in the industry and she will bring a valuable new perspective. I want to build up a strong relationship with the whole industry that is based on trust and openness and I am convinced that Emma will help us to achieve that. This fresh approach will ensure that everyone in the market, from service providers through to their customers, will reap the benefits of our new organisation.”

Emma Gilthorpe added: “Having lobbied for equivalence, I am clearly a passionate believer in it. This role gives me the opportunity to put this belief into practice and to ensure that openreach delivers both the systems and the behaviour the industry wants.

“This is a new start for the UK telecoms market and, if we get it right, it will lead to fundamental and lasting change. It is an exciting role and I look forward to working not only with Steve and his team, but with the whole industry. If we succeed it will bring great benefits to consumers and businesses alike and reinvigorate the whole sector.”

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