BT Group Board Changes

BT has announced that Francois Barrault resigned as Chief Executive, BT Global Services and as a BT Group plc Board director on October 30th.

He has been replaced by Hanif Lalani, currently Group Finance Director.

François Barrault joined BT in 2004 as head of BT International with responsibility for BT Global Services’ non-UK operations. He became Chief Executive of BT Global Services and a BT Group plc board member in April 2007.

Ian Livingston, Chief Executive of BT commented, “BT Global Services, under Francois’ leadership, has established itself as a world leader in providing networked IT services, helping customers in more than 170 countries make the most of globalisation.

“BT Global Services has won many key accounts with major global corporations around the world and delivered much improved customer service. Continuing strong revenue growth shows the tremendous potential of this market, and demonstrates how important the services we provide are to our customers around the world.

“I would like to thank Francois, and wish him well for the future. Hanif will build on these foundations, and take Global Services to the next stage of its development, delivering improved profitability, margins and return on capital for the group and outstanding service for our customers”.

Hanif Lalani has a strong track record of transforming businesses having held a series of senior posts in BT. As Chief Executive of BT Northern Ireland he increased revenues, profit and margins while substantially reducing costs over three years. He went on to become Chief Financial Officer of BT Wholesale before joining the board as Group Finance Director in 2005. In each these roles he has worked closely with major customers and suppliers.

Hanif said, “BT Global Services, led by Francois, has achieved recognition around the world for the quality of the services it delivers, and will remain an engine of growth for the group. I am committed to improving profitability and returns for the division while continuing to win new business. I am extremely proud of BT’s global presence, and of the contribution we are making to the countries in which we work.”

The management of BT Global Services will be further strengthened by the appointment of Ray Leclercq as Chief Financial Officer reporting to Hanif Lalani. Ray is currently Chief Financial Officer of Openreach where he has delivered cost savings and played a key role in improving operational efficiency.

An announcement regarding a new Group Finance Director will be made in due course.

In a separate announcement today BT Group confirmed that the performance of BT Global Services will be disappointing in the current financial year. BT expects revenue growth in this division will remain strong, up 15 per cent year on year, but EBITDA of around £120 million will be significantly below expectations. The fall in EBITDA is due to slower than anticipated delivery of efficiency savings and the continued decline in higher margin UK business.