BT has appointed Adam Crozier, the former chief executive of Royal Mail and ITV, as its new chairman.
Crozier, who is standing down as chairman of online retailer Asos, will join as BT’s chairman designate on 1 March and take over from incumbent Jan du Plessis on 1 December.
BT began the hunt for a new chairman in March after Du Plessis announced his resignation after reports of clashes with the chief executive, Philip Jansen, who reportedly threatened to resign unless a replacement was found.
“After a thorough and comprehensive process to ensure we identified the very best candidate to lead BT, Adam is the unanimous choice of the board,” said Iain Conn, BT’s senior independent director.
“He has significant experience in leading public company boards, developing teams and managing stakeholders, and brings a strong transformational and operational track record in large-scale executive roles.”
Crozier, 57, who has also held the role of chief executive at advertising group Saatchi & Saatchi and the Football Association, will also step down as a non-executive director at Sony Corporation.
However, he will retain his role as chairman of Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, and Kantar, the data and research company spun out of advertising group WPP.
“BT is a hugely important company with a critical role to play in building the digital networks and services to support the UK’s future,” Crozier said. “I look forward to working with the board, Philip and his executive team to create value for all our stakeholders.”
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At BT, Crozier will receive an annual salary of £700,000, the same as his predecessor.
The appointment of Crozier comes as Jansen aims to deliver a £15bn roll out of full-fibre broadband to 25m premises by 2026 and restructure BT, which employs about 100,000 staff, including reducing the sprawling telecoms companies physical footprint from 300 to 30 sites across the UK.
BT’s share price hit an 11-year low last year and, despite recovering about 80% since then, speculation remains that it could be a takeover target. In June, Altice, the telecoms group controlled by the billionaire Patrick Drahi, became BT’s biggest shareholder free spending £2.2bn to take a 12.1% stake.
“I would like to thank Jan for his leadership over the last four years,” Jansen said. “I am delighted to welcome Adam to BT, and I really look forward to working with him as we target returning BT to consistent growth.”