BT reveals Allison Kirby as new chief executive

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BT has revealed its choice of new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with the telecoms giant set to be run by a woman for the first time.

In a statement, BT announced that by the end of January 2024, current CEO Philip Jansen will be stepping down and will be succeeded by Allison Kirby.

Kirby is currently President and CEO of Telia Company, a Swedish multinational telecommunications company and one of the biggest telcos in the country with more than 25 million customers in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Kirby has also been a Non-Executive Director at BT Group since 2019. 

Alison Kirby CEO

Commenting on the news, Kirby said she is “fully supportive” of the BT’s current strategy and is excited about leading it into its next phase of development, which includes growing its customer bases, shareholders, and the UK economy. 

However, it also includes cutting down on staff, as earlier this year, BT announced firing roughly 40% of its workforce as it transforms into a leaner, more agile business - around some 55,000 employees which should leave the company by the end of the decade. 

One of the reasons for the downsizing is BT’s investment in infrastructure which requires less maintenance and thus, less staff. AI is also reportedly playing a role in the restructuring.

Jansen will continue to serve as BT CEO until his successor takes over, which should be by the end of January 2024. Jansen will also be available for support until the end of March 2024, after which, the company states, he “intends to retire from executive life.”

In respect of the transition period, BT Chair Adam Crozier said: “Philip continues to lead the business very effectively as can be seen in the good progress shown at our most recent financial results. Given Allison is already on the Board, we are confident we will have an orderly leadership transition and handover of responsibilities.”

The British telecoms giant has reported revenue growth of 4% year-on-year for its Q1 2024, hitting almost $6.76bn.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.