HSBC boss to take over BT Openreach

BT confirms Joe Garner will take over as the CEO of its Openreach division when Liv Garfield steps down in February

BT today confirmed the former boss of HSBC in the UK is to become the CEO of its Openreach division.

Joe Garner will take over from the current lead, Liv Garfield, when she leaves in February to become the CEO of Severn Trent.

As well as the senior role at HSBC, Garner was also the chairman of the Financial Services Authority’s practitioner panel and previously held senior positions within Dixons and Procter & Gamble.

He will now be tasked with running BT’s large-scale broadband roll-out across the UK, heading both its commercial projects and the government-funded BDUK scheme, bringing superfast connections to rural areas.

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“I am thrilled to be joining Openreach at such a critical moment – a moment when technology is redefining how our society communicates,” said Garner. “The massive investment that Openreach is making in the UK’s high-speed internet infrastructure is something of a revolution that will greatly benefit people and businesses in this country.”

“I am grateful to my predecessor and the engineers who have already delivered so much. It is my ambition to build on this work and I intend to focus on customer service, continued innovation and maintaining fair and equal access for all.”

Gavin Patterson, group CEO for BT who only recently took over the company after Ian Livingston’s departure in September 2013, claimed Garner’s experience in the financial services industry would give him an advantage in his new field.

“His experience of managing a large regulated business with a substantial workforce will help us as we expand our fibre optic network into rural areas,” he said. “He will also ensure that Openreach continues to play a vital role in supporting businesses, consumers and communities the length and breadth of the country.”

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