BT CEO Jansen Decides to Move onto New Things

BT CEO Philip Jansen has announced his decision to step down as the CEO when a successor has been found.

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While BT’s public press release seems to stress how simple expected and average the succession is, there’s definitely a debate over how much push versus jump was involved behind the scenes. Either way, however, Philip Jansen is preparing to step down from his role as the chief executive of BT early next year.

”Philip has done an excellent job in his time at BT and the board is fully supportive of our long-term strategy which he and his team are pursuing,” BT Group Chairman Adam Crozier said on the subject. ”Whilst we are still in the early years of that transformation, we are on track to deliver.”

Despite all the insistence on how thankful they are for Jansen’s work, other sources are suspicious. With BT’s share prices almost halved since Jansen took over in 2019, and a highly controversial announcement of cutting up to 55,000 jobs by 2030 in the name of a ‘leaner’ business, its an understandable outlook.

To find a suitable successor, BT have hired the reputable Spencer Stuart to search for a successor.

A succession plan could be announced as early as Thursday, with its annual shareholder meeting, according to Sky. Jansen has been reported to have indicated to BT’s board his intentions to leave in early 2024, rather than this year.

A BT Group Spokesperson said ”As a normal course of business, the BT board undertakes regular succession planning to ensure it is preparing appropriately for the future.”

Jansen took over BT in 2019, after an equally rocky situation in which previous CEO Gavin Patterson couldn’t quite win around investors on his own turnaround plan.

”The succession process to replace Philip is something that the Board was well prepared for. All appropriate candidates are being considered and we expect to be able to update the market on progress over the course of the summer. In the meantime, it is business as usual, and we are focused on executing our plans and delivering for all our stakeholders.”

Adam Crozier, BT Group Chairman

Jansen had opinions to share on the succession himself, also perpetuating the perfectly average theme of the succession.

”We’ve made alot of progress over the last four and a half years and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to date. We’re investing heavily in both BT’s and the UK’s future,” Jansen insisted. ”We’re building like fury, have now passed over a 11m homes with fibre, have got 5G service to 68% of the country and our customer service is much improved.”

Four and a half years is definitely a long time to have just gotten things started and BT’s share price shows no sign of investors thinking inflection point has been reached, or is even just around the bend. Left unstated is the aforementioned decision to cull thousands of jobs, perhaps due to the share price boost that always created being erased. It’s also an interesting coincidence that the first rumours of this situation came not long after reports of some controversial comments from Jansen complicated BT’s relationship with Ofcom.

”The CEO has endured a rollercoaster ride at BT”, Analyst Kester Mann of CCS Insight reported. ”He presided over the operator’s impressive response to the pandemic; embarked on a massive cost-saving drive; oversaw a major acceleration in the deployment of full fibre.”

Another Analyst, namely Paolo Pescatore of PP Foresight, had this to say on the matter: ”There’s not much left for him to do. He has helped navigate the group through a difficult period. Probably time to think about the next chapter for both him and BT.”

It just goes to show how divided people really are on the topic, and especially what Jansen’s tenure at BT was like. Either way, however, it can’t be argued that Jansen allowed BT to get through the pandemic successfully and without as many issues as some other companies. The BT board no doubt want to build on what he has done now and candidates for the CEO position will undoubtedly need to show a dedication to a clear growth plan.

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