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BT Group Name Allison Kirkby to Replace Philip Jansen as UK CEO

Monday, Jul 31st, 2023 (7:27 am) - Score 2,968
Allison-Kirkby-BT-Group-CEO-Photo

Broadband, phone and mobile giant BT Group (inc. Openreach, Plusnet and EE) has this morning announced that it has chosen Allison Kirkby, the current President & CEO of telecommunications multinational operator Telia Company in Sweden since early 2020, to replace Philip Jansen in the role of CEO.

The announcement follows only a few weeks after BT confirmed that Jansen would be departing (here). Jansen oversaw a particularly difficult period for the telecoms giant, which was reflected by a mix of cost-cutting (e.g. job losses), pay disputes (including several national strikes), rising competition from alternative networks, a reduced focus on Pay TV, the somewhat divisive brand simplification drive, rising speculation of a takeover by Patrick Drahi’s Altice UK (here) or Deutsche Telekom (here), an accelerated rollout of full fibre (FTTP) broadband technology and a share price that has fallen from 230p to 124p while he was in office.

BT will no doubt be hoping for better times ahead with the appointment of Allison Kirkby into the role. Allison is currently the president & CEO of Telia Company since early 2020, although she has been a Non-Executive Director at BT Group since 2019 and is also a Non-Executive Director and member of the Audit Committee of Brookfield Asset Management Limited.

Prior to that she has held senior roles and top jobs at Virgin Media, TDC and Tele2 AB. Earlier in her career, she held a number of financial and operational roles at Procter & Gamble (1990-2010) and qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1990 whilst at Guinness plc.

Under the plan, Philip Jansen will continue to serve as CEO until the end of January 2024 at the latest. When Philip steps down, he will hand over to Allison. He will be available to support the handover until the end of March 2024, at which point he intends to retire from executive life. The exact start date and handover date for Allison is thus yet to be fully confirmed.

Allison Kirkby said:

“I’m incredibly honoured to have been appointed as the next Chief Executive of BT Group. BT is such an important company for the UK, and our many customers both in the UK and internationally and is uniquely placed to help everyone benefit from the rapid advances in digitalisation

Our products and services have never been more important to how our customers live and work, and thanks to the significant investment BT is putting into digital infrastructure and in the modernisation of its services, I see us playing an even more important role going forward.

Having been a member of the BT Group Board for the past four years, I’m fully supportive of our strategy and am excited about leading it into its next phase of development, as we grow to support customers, shareholders and the UK economy.”

Adam Crozier, BT Group Chairman, said:

“The Board is delighted to have appointed Allison as our new Chief Executive. She is a proven leader, with deep sector experience and a history of having transformed businesses. I look forward to supporting her as we drive our long-term strategy to transform BT Group, ensuring it delivers for all our stakeholders.”

New leaders tend to bring with them changes in strategic direction, although for now it appears as if the new CEO will continue to follow BT’s current strategy. But Allison will no doubt also need to be mindful of the challenges to come, such as the need to complete their FTTP rollout in order to stay competitive in a much more challenging broadband market. Not to mention the retirement of their old copper line network, as well as the closure of thousands of old telephone exchanges and Ofcom’s next set of market reviews – requiring good relations with the regulator (something Jansen didn’t always get right).

Now for anybody who wants to know about how much the new CEO is to be paid..

Remuneration

Allison will be paid in accordance with the Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders on 13 July 2023 and in line with the current Chief Executive. Her remuneration will therefore consist of:

A salary of £1,100,000 per annum.

A cash allowance in lieu of pension of 10% of salary and other benefits in line with our Remuneration Policy.

An on target annual bonus of 120% of salary (with a maximum of 200%) subject to performance. Half of the annual bonus paid will be deferred into BT Group shares for a further three years with no additional performance conditions.

A long-term Restricted Share Plan (“RSP”) award of 200% of salary, which vests in three equal tranches three, four and five years after grant. She is required to hold all vested shares until five years after grant. Her first pro rata RSP award will be granted soon after becoming Chief Executive.

Allison will be required to build a shareholding of 500% of salary within five years.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
13 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    Is it a legal requirement that the BT CEO must be ex-P&G? Third in a row.

    I suppose it is a good thing that she’s come from the telecoms world and that she’s already been on the BT board – hopefully some consistency and stability

    1. Avatar photo 125us says:

      Jansen wasn’t from P&G.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      you’ll have to tell that to.. er.. BT.

      https://www.bt.com/about/bt/our-board/philip-jansen

      “after initially starting his career at Procter & Gamble.”

  2. Avatar photo Obi says:

    Seems like a competent pick, fine if she continues with BT’s current aims. That salary is eye watering, but if she delivers, no one will bat an eye

    1. Avatar photo Sad says:

      Compensation seems incredibly low tbh, unless significantly more is paid out of a separate option plan

  3. Avatar photo BT says:

    Salary £1,100,000 per annum (greedy)

    1. Avatar photo Richard says:

      Gravy train with loads riding on it.

    2. Avatar photo Well Well says:

      @BT

      You say that but if you was offered that amount for a job you would take it so who is the a hypocrite.

    3. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      She’s working for it so there is that.

    4. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Phil, how many Plusnet referrals would you need to get the same salary pa?

    5. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      That is a lot of money, i know it is a big company and no doubt will have a lot of stress with it, but still a lot of money.
      @Well Well or who ever you are now, Not many people would say no to that amount of money, I know I would not, but then after a couple of years I would retire.

      Well see if it changes, she could make things worse.
      Some people like me think that BT is too big and still a monopoly, while that have decreased, they still have the advantage compared to alt nets.

      I chat to some people online in a group and while some still are on the Openreach network, they are waiting for an altnet to roll out to get away from Openreach. One of them use mobile broadband as he detests BT that much.

  4. Avatar photo Ray H says:

    I have read in the telegraph she was president and chief executive of Swedish group Telia Company since early 2020 and under her tenure the share price has dropped by a third so hardly a ringing endorsement

    1. Avatar photo Robert says:

      Most companies have dropped since 2020, so not a bad indicator by itself.

Comments are closed

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