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BT Openreach UK Appoints Joe Garner as CEO to Replace Liv Garfield

Monday, Jan 13th, 2014 (3:23 pm) - Score 2,006

BT has today announced the appointment of Joe Garner (aged 44), the former head of HSBC’s UK bank, to be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its Openreach division when current boss, Liv Garfield, steps down to become CEO of water company Severn Trent.

Garner, whom has also held senior roles at both Dixons and Procter & Gamble, will begin to take over from Garfield during mid-February 2014. BT claims that his “substantial commercial, operational and regulatory experience” will come in handy as the operator looks towards reshaping its approach in order to tackle future challenges.


Gavin Patterson, BTGroup’s CEO, said:

I am delighted to welcome Joe to the team. His experience of managing a large regulated business with a substantial workforce will help us as we expand our fibre optic network into rural areas. He will also ensure that Openreach continues to play a vital role in supporting businesses, consumers and communities the length and breadth of the country.”

Joe Garner added:

I am thrilled to be joining Openreach at such a critical moment – a moment when technology is redefining how our society communicates. The massive investment that Openreach is making in the UK’s high speed internet infrastructure is something of a revolution that will greatly benefit people and businesses in this country. I am grateful to my predecessor and the engineers who have already delivered so much. It is my ambition to build on this work and I intend to focus on customer service, continued innovation and maintaining fair and equal access for all.”

The press release mentions regulation on several occasions and states that Openreach, which looks after BT’s national UK telecoms and broadband network, “is one of the most heavily regulated businesses in the UK“. This suggests that the operator is being particularly mindful of Ofcom’s on-going Fixed Telecoms Market Review(s) and the likely impact upon their business.

Similarly, as BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network expands then the calls for greater access and price control by rival ISPs only seem to get louder. Suffice to say that Openreach will face a number of new challenges over the next few years and it clearly believes that Garner will be the best man to take it through the foggy weather.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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