Friday 24 May 2019

Informa's Carter in frame to replace under-fire BT boss

Informa chief executive Stephen Carter (PA)
Informa chief executive Stephen Carter (PA)

Arathy S Nair

BT has approached Informa CEO Stephen Carter as a possible replacement for Gavin Patterson and is keen to announce a new CEO by the end of October.

However, Carter was not part of any recruitment process, according to Sky News which cited a friend of the former head of British telecoms regulator Ofcom as saying.

Carter might be persuaded to take the job in the coming months, Sky said, also citing the unnamed friend.

Patterson stepped down as BT CEO in June after almost five years when its chairman said a new leader was needed to overhaul Britain's biggest broadband and mobile provider.

Jan du Plessis, the new BT chairman overseeing the search for a CEO, is keen to announce an appointment by the end of October, Sky reported, citing people close to the company.

BT said in June it expects to have Patterson's replacement in place during in the second half of the year.

Possible candidates include Olaf Swantee, the former CEO of EE, acquired by BT three years ago, and Allison Kirkby, CEO of Swedish telco Tele2 AB, Sky reported. Patterson announced 13,000 job cuts at BT in May in an attempt to curb a host of problems including intense competition, an underperforming IT services unit, a huge pension deficit and criticism of its broadband plans.

But his position was put in jeopardy after the company failed to hit a revenue target and forecast no growth in profit for the next couple of years.

BT shares fell by more than a third during Patterson's tenure.

In June, Plessis said the board backed his strategy but not his ability to see it through. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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