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Super Spreader Fears as COVID-19 Hits BT UK CEO Philip Jansen

Friday, Mar 13th, 2020 (7:24 am) - Score 12,062
bt ceo philip jansen 2019 uk

Something like this had to happen eventually. BT Group has confirmed that their CEO, Philip Jansen, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and has followed the Public Health England protocols to self-isolate. The telecoms chief recently met with the UK Culture Secretary (Oliver Dowden) and leaders of O2, Vodafone and Three UK.

As you’d expect, Jansen’s office and other parts of the BT Group HQ are currently working with PHE to undertake a “full deep clean” of relevant areas, while also ensuring that any employees who may have had contact with the CEO are informed about the situation.

On top of that he has also informed those he recently met, including the bosses of the aforementioned mobile operators and the Culture Secretary. At this stage it’s unclear if any of those people have been tested for the virus or gone into self-isolation until they know the outcome.

According to some research, symptoms of the virus could appear as soon as three days after exposure to as long as 13 days later, which creates a worryingly wide window for the contagion to spread before people become aware. At this stage it’s unclear if BT’s CEO was continuing to shake hands or had already been adopting distancing measures and different forms of greeting than a handshake.

Philip Jansen said:

“Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home.

I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could.

Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

Naturally we wish Philip a speedy recovery and hopefully his case will serve as a reminder of the need to do things differently for awhile. We are not in normal times.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew C says:

    Now I do hope he gets well and has a speedy recovery, however, he can develop minor symptoms and gets tested and the rest of the population have to wait until they are hospitalised before being tested?
    Money talks

    1. Avatar photo CarlT says:

      None of us know the circumstances. Presumptuous to assume otherwise.

  2. Avatar photo Tony Mc says:

    Hope he gets better soon how long had he been feeling poorly before he isolated himself. I thought the idea was self isolate then get tested.

    1. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

      The the problem is that you can have COVID and be a asymptomatic. Equally you can be asymptomatic and spread it all over the place like any common virus.

      Isolation doesn’t really help only lack of social mixing will have any effect.

      And in any case early symptoms are usually ‘bad cold’ it is only really the fever and then stage three – pneumonia – that are clear.

      So with the best will in the world isolation once you are sick just cuts down in on the social contact group and not much else.

  3. Avatar photo Cassie Smith says:

    This idiot is not self isolating he is walking around Salcombe

  4. Avatar photo Rachael Hutchings says:

    This guy is a selfish idiot. Come down to Salcombe and walking around with his family! Already been thrown out of a pub. Just because he has money he thinks it’s ok to bring the virus into our small community with a lot of elderly here.

  5. Avatar photo Andre says:

    The rumour better not be true that he was man handled out of one of my local pubs after boasting he had it and had come down here to self isolate. And went to a pub. We are a small community and can’t afford to lose our jobs because of selfishness if it’s true you’ll be drummed out of our safe haven.

    1. Avatar photo Andre says:

      I retract my last statement. It’s totally false. I asked The Landlord and this was his response!.
      “I know, it is untrue, and neither has it been any other pubs in Salcombe, like I say people need to slow down and think a bit. Because he has come down here to stay in his home and has had the virus the rumour mill has started and got totally out of hand!”

  6. Avatar photo Anonymous Coward. says:

    It’s been alleged that he was asked to leave a pub near his second home in Salcombe, South Devon after being spotted coughing at the bar. Maybe BT would like to comment on that?
    The pitchforks are probably being sharpened as I write.

Comments are closed

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