What Lies Ahead for BT as CEO Philip Jansen Departs


What Lies Ahead for BT as CEO Philip Jansen Departs

The Challenges and Prospects for BT as Philip Jansen Steps Down as CEO

Philip Jansen’s belief that he was the right man to revive BT’s fortunes led the outgoing chief executive to spend more than £7m on shares in the tel

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Philip Jansen’s belief that he was the right man to revive BT’s fortunes led the outgoing chief executive to spend more than £7m on shares in the telecoms giant during his tenure. Yet his successor will inherit a business that has seen more than £10bn wiped off its market value over the past four years.

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Philip Jansen, who has been the CEO of BT since February 2019, has recently confirmed his intention to step down from his role. During his tenure, BT’s market value has declined significantly. This article explores the implications of Jansen’s departure and the challenges faced by his successor in restoring BT’s fortunes.

Jansen’s Achievements at BT

Jansen’s leadership at BT has been characterized by navigating the company through the challenges posed by the pandemic. He implemented a comprehensive plan to cut costs and staff, amounting to £3bn, while also investing £15bn in the rollout of 5G mobile and full-fibre broadband across the UK.

The Search for Jansen’s Successor

BT’s board, along with the headhunting firm Spencer Stuart, is now tasked with finding a suitable replacement for Jansen. The current known contender is Marc Allera, a company veteran who runs BT’s consumer division. Other potential candidates include Olaf Swantee, former CEO of EE, Dominique Leroy, former CEO of Proximus, Allison Kirkby, CEO of Telia, and Lord Carter, former boss of NTL.

Jansen’s Restructuring Efforts

Jansen has undertaken significant restructuring efforts at BT, resolving disputes over pay and cuts and offloading the costly pay-TV sport business. Despite these efforts, BT’s market capitalization has declined by 47% during Jansen’s tenure, signaling investor skepticism regarding the company’s performance.

Challenges in the Telecoms Market

The telecoms market has witnessed various challenges in recent years. Vodafone, for example, has pursued initiatives to revitalize its share price, such as a joint venture with Three and exits and sell-offs in other markets. Virgin Media’s merger with O2 UK aimed to create a stronger competitor to BT.

The Future of Openreach

Openreach, BT’s broadband subsidiary, faces the rise of alternative network providers, or “alt nets,” such as CityFibre. While some expected Openreach to benefit from reduced competition, these alt nets continue to grow and threaten Openreach’s market position. The new BT CEO will likely reevaluate the future of Openreach, including potential sales or separations.

Jansen’s Impatience and Ultimate Goal

Jansen’s impatience has been a driving force behind BT’s restructuring efforts. However, his ultimate goal of recreating BT as a “national champion” has proven to be a more challenging and lengthy process than anticipated. Infrastructure-based competition presents significant structural headwinds, making value creation a difficult task.


Philip Jansen’s decision to step down as BT’s CEO comes at a critical juncture for the company. His successor will face the challenge of addressing structural headwinds and driving value in the embattled telecoms market. Finding a CEO who can execute BT’s long-term vision and navigate the complexities of the industry will be crucial for the company’s future success.


  1. Who is Philip Jansen? Philip Jansen is the outgoing CEO of BT, a telecoms giant. He has held the position since February 2019 and has played a significant role in restructuring the company.
  2. What challenges will Jansen’s successor face? The new CEO will inherit a company that has experienced a significant decline in market value and faces intense competition in the telecoms market. They will need to navigate these challenges and drive value for BT.
  3. Who are the potential candidates for BT’s CEO position? Marc Allera, who currently runs BT’s consumer division, is a publicly known contender. Other potential candidates include Olaf Swantee, Dominique Leroy, Allison Kirkby, and Lord Carter.
  4. What is the future of Openreach under a new CEO? The new CEO is likely to reevaluate the future of Openreach, considering potential sales or separations. The rise of alternative network providers poses challenges to Openreach’s market position.
  5. What is the ultimate goal of recreating BT as a “national champion”? Philip Jansen aimed to restore BT’s position as a dominant player in the telecoms market, known as a “national champion.” However, achieving this goal has proven to be more challenging than anticipated due to structural headwinds.


  • comment-avatar

    Although things have been very difficult for BT I’m not sure Jensen was the best person to see the company through this period. Not blaming him, maybe he did his best but sometimes things just don’t work out.

  • comment-avatar

    BT needs new offers to attract new customers. They can’t just rely on firing people and reducing budgets and hope everything will be fine. They need a bigger market share.

  • comment-avatar

    The next CEO should focus on expanding BT, and should be more courageous I think. If you play it too safe you won’t get much in return. Curious to see who they pick.