BT Retail is to split into two separate businesses, BT Consumer and BT Business. The move will take effect from September(1) .
The split will enable the company to better serve its customers and focus even more on delivering its strategic priorities. These include ‘Driving broadband-based consumer services’ and ‘Being the brand for business for UK SMEs’.
The CEO of BT Consumer will be John Petter, currently managing director of the Consumer unit within BT Retail. The CEO of BT Business will be Graham Sutherland, currently managing director of the Business unit within BT Retail. Both currently report into Gavin Patterson and they will continue to do so when he takes over from Ian Livingston as BT Group Chief Executive in September. Both will join BT’s Operating Committee on 1 September 2013.
BT Retail currently comprises four customer-facing units. These are BT Consumer, BT Business (which supplies SMEs), BT Enterprises (which consists of BT Conferencing, BT Payphones, BT Directories, BT Fleet, BT Wi-fi, BT Redcare, BT Expedite and Fresca, and BT Tikit) and BT Ireland.
BT Enterprises and BT Ireland will merge with BT Business to form the new BT Business division while BT Wi-fi and the consumer part of BT Ireland will transfer to BT Consumer.
Gavin Patterson BT Retail CEO, said today: “BT Retail has delivered well for many years now contributing strong profits to the group. It is time however for the business to be split in two given the intensely competitive nature of the consumer market and our strong ambitions in the business space. John and Graham are excellent leaders and I have every confidence they will take the fight to the competition and help BT to grow in the future.”
John Petter, MD Consumer, said: “I am thrilled to be given this opportunity. BT is in a four way tussle with Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk for broadband customers and we are at the start of an exciting journey with BT Sport. There has never been a better time to be a consumer and we plan to up the ante in the coming years.”
Graham Sutherland, MD Business, said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the life blood of the economy and they are central to our plans. BT Business has a rich set of services and the combination with BT Enterprises and BT Ireland, both fantastic businesses, will help us to grow. It is a pleasure to take on this role at such an exciting time.”
(1) It is expected BT will continue to report figures for BT Retail as a whole until the end of the current financial year.