BT CEO job 'offered' to outgoing Worldpay chief

The outgoing joint-CEO of Worldpay Philip Jansen has reportedly been offered by BT the opportunity to become its next chief executive.

Bloomberg says the appointment could be announced in time for the publication of BT’s first half results on November 1, but that Jansen could still turn down the job before then.

Jansen is due to leave Worldpay at the end of the month and was first mentioned as a successor to current CEO Gavin Patterson last month. It is thought that the degree of freedom he would have at the helm is a bigger factor than the financial package on offer.

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Whoever succeeds Patterson will have to manage 13,000 job cuts, manage the company’s occasionally fractious relationship with regulator Ofcom, and determine the future direction of Openreach.

They will also have to oversee structural changes within the company as it focuses on mobile and convergence, with a shift to full fibre infrastructure and 5G mobile networks on the horizon.

BT has been grappling with falling business revenues, an accounting scandal in BT Global Services’ Italian division and a pension deficit in recent years, but its consumer divisions and EE have continued to perform.

It is thought BT Chairman Jan du Plessis is hoping an outsider to the telco industry will provide the UK’s largest broadband and mobile provider with a fresh perspective as it negotiates myriad challenges.

Jansen worked with Patterson at Proctor & Gamble and at cable operator Telewest (which merged with NTL to form Virgin Media in 2007), while former BT Chairman Sir Mike Rake is Worldpay’s top independent director.

However, should Jansen turn BT down, then the firm could look for a person within the sector as an alternative. Potential candidates include former EE CEO Olaf Swantee, who is now the head of Swiss mobile operator Sunrise, while former Openreach CEO Liv Garfield and current BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera have also been previously touted.

BT declined to comment.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.