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BT appoints new chief executive

BT Group has appointed the co-chief executive of payments services company Worldpay, Philip Jansen, as its next CEO.

Philip Jansen

Jansen will be appointed to the BT board as an executive director on January 1, 2019 and will take over from outgoing CEO Gavin Patterson, following a handover period, on February 1.

He is due to step down from Worldpay, where he had been chief executive since 2013, at the end of the year.

“The board is delighted to have appointed Philip as our new chief executive. He is a proven leader with outstanding experience in managing large complex businesses,” said BT Group chairman, Jan du Plessis.

“His most recent success at Worldpay, a technology-led business, means he is well suited to build on the solid foundations that are in place at BT.”

Jansen led Worldpay through its 2015 initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange and its £8 billion (US$10.4bn) acquisition by US credit card processing company Vantiv, which closed in January.

He was previously CEO and then chairman of Brakes Group and has held a variety of senior roles in Sodexo Group, latterly as chief operating Officer and CEO, Europe, South Africa and India. Earlier in his career Jansen was COO of MyTravel and managing director of Telewest Communications’ consumer division.

Jansen said: “BT is a special company with a wonderful history and a very exciting future. It has built a leading position across fixed and mobile networks, creating an opportunity to deliver increasing benefits for our customers, the UK economy and our shareholders.

“In a competitive market we will need to be absolutely focused on our customers’ needs and pursue the right technology investments to help grow the business. I’m excited to get to know all the people at BT and work together to take the business forward.”

BT announced in June that Gavin Patterson would step down later this year as CEO, claiming new leadership was needed following poor company results.

BT’s Q4 numbers were released a month before the announcement and included a loss of 16,000 TV subscribers and plans to cut costs by reducing its headcount by 13,000 people.

Patterson has led the company since 2013, before which he served as chief executive of BT Retail. He has been a member of the BT board since 2008 and first joined BT as a senior executive four years prior to that.

Du Plessis said: “I’d like to thank Gavin for his continued leadership of the business and express my gratitude for his commitment and the good progress made over the last few months.

“To ensure an orderly leadership transition and handover, Gavin and Philip will work together during January, with Gavin presenting our Q3 results on 31 January, before handing over to Philip on 1 February.”

At BT, Jansen will be paid a salary of £1.1 million per annum fixed for five years, plus an annual bonus of up to 240% of salary subject to performance. Other benefits and incentives include a cash allowance in lieu of pension of 15% of salary, and a long-term incentive share plan award of 400% of salary, which vests after three years subject to performance.