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BT Group appoints Worldpay boss Philip Jansen as new CEO

Jansen, who is taking over from Gavin Patterson, will earn £1.1mln a year plus an annual bonus of up to £2.64mln
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Jansen will start his new job on February 1

After much speculation, telecoms giant BT Group PLC (LON:BT.A) has appointed Worldpay boss Philip Jansen as its new chief executive.

The 51-year-old Brit has been CEO at Worldpay for five years and recently oversaw its US$10bn merger with rival e-commerce platform Vantiv.

READ: BT boss Gavin Patterson set to step down 

He is due to step down from his current role at the end of the year and will take over from outgoing BT boss Gavin Patterson on February 1 2019.

“The board is delighted to have appointed Philip as our new chief executive,” said BT chairman Jan du Plessis.

“He is a proven leader with outstanding experience in managing large complex businesses. His most recent success at Worldpay, a technology-led business, means he is well suited to build on the solid foundations that are in place at BT.”

Jansen said he was “honoured” to take the top job and that he will be focused on customers’ needs and pursuing the “right technology investments” in order to grow the business.

For his troubles, he will take home £1.1mln a year, £165,000 pension contributions, plus an annual bonus of up to £2.64mln.

He will also be granted BT shares worth almost £900,000 as part of his ‘golden hello’ welcome package, while longer-term he can earn up to another £3.3mln in bonuses.

Much work to do

When Jansen takes the helm in February, there will be much work to do, not least repairing BT’s relationship with Ofcom, which has become more and more strained in recent years and led to a record fine from the regulator.

Investors will also be keen to see what he does with the firm’s sports business; the move into football TV rights a few years ago was expensive and seen by some in the City as a mistake.

An accounting scandal in its Italian division last January rocked the market, while BT has more recently had to plough billions into its pension pot and cut thousands of jobs to prop up the bottom line.

Former O2 boss joins board

In a separate statement on Thursday, BT also announced that former O2 boss Matthew Key will be joining the board as a non-executive director.

Key has extensive experience in the telecoms sector, having also been chairman and CEO of Telefónica Europe and finance director at Vodafone.

“We are delighted he has joined BT,” said du Plessis.

“Matthew has hugely valuable and relevant experience from his time at O2, Telefonica and Vodafone. This, combined with his strong strategic skills and experience as a non-executive, makes him an excellent addition to the board.”

In late morning trading, BT shares were 2.5% lower at 244.05p with investors focused on the telecoms group's third-quarter results due next Thursday.

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