September 24, 2023

BT is developing succession plans as it identifies potential replacements for boss Philip Jansen.

Despite Jansen having only four years at the top of Britain’s top telecommunications company, an industry source told The Mail on Sunday that planning for his successor was an “open secret” in the City.

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Executive headhunters struggle to build lists of candidates before the official announcement.

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Out of favor: Philip Jansen spent only four years at the top of the UK’s flagship telecommunications company.

The market is already “searching” for executives interested in the top job, while proposals for successors have “been out for quite some time,” possibly months, another source close to the matter said.

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Rumors of Jansen’s departure, 56, come as the FTSE 100 company is accused of stifling competition in the UK broadband market, where it dominates. The former state monopoly owns Openreach, the UK’s largest fiber optic broadband network, with a key element of Jansen’s strategy to rapidly expand its fiber internet offering across the UK.

The phrase “build like a rage” has become a key part of his vocabulary, and his goal is to connect 25 million homes to fiber broadband by the end of 2026.

He also undertook a massive program to cut costs. In November, BT raised its savings target from £2.5bn to £3bn by the end of 2025 to counter rising inflation.

Analyst Paolo Pescatore said the top candidate to replace Jansen could be Mark Allera, head of BT’s consumer division, which includes its EE mobile network. He added, “Jansen helped the band through a difficult period, but it’s probably time to think about the next chapter for him and BT.”

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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 ISPs to use its broadband network, in an initiative known as Equinox 2. The watchdog raised concerns after Jansen said BT’s network had become “an unstoppable machine”. “, which will “put an end.” with tears in the eyes of opponents.

And under Jansen’s leadership, French telecommunications billionaire Patrick Drai acquired an 18 percent stake in BT through his Altice group.

BT declined to comment.