BT is drawing up succession plans as it scopes out potential replacements for boss Philip Jansen
BT is drawing up succession plans as it scopes out potential replacements for boss Philip Jansen.
Despite Jansen only serving four years at the top of Britain’s flagship telecoms company, an industry source told The Mail on Sunday that planning for his successor was ‘an open secret’ in the City.
Executive headhunters are scrambling to create lists of candidates ahead of a formal announcement.
Out of favour: Philip Jansen has only served four years at the top of Britain’s flagship telecoms company
There have already been ‘searches in the market’ for executives interested in the top job, while pitches for successors have been ‘out for quite some time’, possibly months, said another source close to the matter.
Speculation about an exit for Jansen, 56, comes as the FTSE 100 firm finds itself accused of strangling competition in the UK broadband market, where it dominates. The former state monopoly owns Openreach, Britain’s biggest fibre broadband network, with a key plank of Jansen’s strategy being the rapid expansion of its fibre internet offering across the UK.
The phrase building ‘like fury’ has become a key part of his vocabulary, with the aim of linking 25 million homes to fibre broadband by late 2026.
He has also embarked on a big cost-cutting drive. In November, BT raised its savings target from £2.5 billion to £3 billion by the end of 2025 to counter surging inflation.
Analyst Paolo Pescatore said a prime candidate to replace Jansen could be Marc Allera, the head of BT’s consumer arm, which includes its mobile network EE. He added: ‘Jansen has helped navigate the group through a difficult period but it’s probably time to think about the next chapter for him and BT.’
Recent moves have also cast doubt on Jansen’s future at BT.
This month, Ofcom delayed its decision to approve BT’s plan to cut prices for internet providers to use its broadband network through an initiative known as Equinox 2. The watchdog highlighted concerns after Jansen said BT’s network had become an ‘unstoppable machine’ that would ‘end in tears’ for rivals.
And under Jansen’s tenure French telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi has built up an 18 per cent stake in BT through his group Altice.
BT declined to comment.