BT forms new business retail division

BT Retail will split into business and consumer divisions when its leader ascends to the role of CEO in September

Telecoms giant BT today confirmed it would be splitting BT Retail to form separate business and consumer arms.

The BT Retail division is responsible for selling consumer services such as broadband and TV, as well as solutions to small businesses and enterprise-level offerings, such as conferencing. It exists with four units, BT Consumer, BT Business, BT Enterprises and BT Ireland, all under the BT Retail umbrella.

However, with its chief Gavin Patterson due to take over from current CEO Ian Livingston when he leaves to take on a role at the House of Lords this September, BT has chosen now to make changes to his department.

The majority of BT Enterprises and BT Ireland will merge with the existing BT Business to create the standalone BT Business division. 

Graham Sutherland, managing director of the business unit in BT Retail, will become CEO.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises are the lifeblood of the economy and they are central to our plans,” said Sutherland. “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.”

BT’s Wi-Fi offerings and the consumer elements of BT Ireland will then merge with existing consumer services to become BT Consumer. John Petter, managing director of the Consumer unit within BT Retail, will become its CEO.

“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity,” he said. “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.”

The new structure will take effect in September.

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