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Former BT CEO Ben Verwaayen Confirmed to Join Ofcom’s Board

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 (12:53 pm) - Score 1,209

Ofcom has confirmed the appointment of former BT CEO Ben Verwaayen to the position of non-executive director on their board, which comes just ahead of the Strategic Review that will decide whether or not BT should be separated from control of their national UK broadband and phone network.

The possibility of Verwaayen, who was CEO of BT until May 2008, joining Ofcom’s board was first rumoured two weeks ago (here) and some have suggested that his move may be a sign of big changes coming down the line.

Verwaayen is often credited with helping to spread broadband connectivity across the United Kingdom and for avoiding a break-up of the operator during Ofcom’s last strategic review in 2005, although some analysts also blamed him for various problems at BT’s Global Services business and for later failing to turn Alcatel-Lucent’s financial fortunes around.

Elsewhere Ofcom has also appointed Bill Emmott to take on the role of Chairman at their Content Board. Bill is said to be a journalist and editor who spent 26 years at the Economist, with 13 years as Editor-in-Chief and as a main Board Director. He is also a documentary film maker and an author of non-fiction books.

Patricia Hodgson, Ofcom Chairman, said:

I am delighted to be welcoming Ben Verwaayen and Bill Emmott to the Ofcom Board. They are two high-calibre appointments who bring a wealth of experience, which will greatly benefit Ofcom. I would like to thank Tim, Mike and Stephen for their significant contributions to Ofcom’s work over the years.”

It’s worth pointing out that Ofcom’s non-executive directors are generally appointed by the Government (DCMS). Ben Verwaayen and Bill Emmott will replace Tim Gardam and Mike McTighe, who are stepping down from the Board having each served two terms. Stephen Hill also resigned from the Board last year.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton says:

    Hmm, is that the same one who largely contributed to BT’s Global Services failure, and who later had to resign from Alcatel-Lucent when it created huge losses? And who earned more than £1.8m in salary and bonuses in each of his last two years as chief executive, before he left BT? Clearly Ofcom is not doing well these days.

  2. Avatar Darren says:

    So Ofcom just got even less competent and impartial.

  3. Avatar adslmax Real says:

    Get rid of Ofcom and Tory Government

    1. Avatar TheManStan says:

      and what government would you bring in… they are all technology muppets…

  4. Avatar Tom says:

    What do they say about that ‘revolving door’. A good time for BT to leverage some more power against another powerless regulator. Perhaps the 10Mbps USO dream needs quashing?

  5. Avatar Coger says:

    Good news, BT cannot winge that Ofcom do not understand what they are doing if and when OpenRetch is split off, or. Bad news, stalking horse influenced by Pattison to assist him to keep OpenRetch in place! BTW it is Alcatel – Lucent who are responsible for developing “GFarce” – so maybe we can look forward to some more Crazy Copper Chaos!

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