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Garner Leaves Openreach

Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach

BT has announced that Joe Garner is to step down as CEO of Openreach after deciding to take up a new challenge as CEO of Nationwide. Joe is expected to take up his new post in the Spring of 2016 after handing over to his successor who will be named in due course.

As CEO of Openreach – BT’s local access network division – since February 2014, Joe has overseen BT’s deployment of superfast fibre broadband, extending its footprint from 18 million premises when he joined to more than 24 million premises currently. Take-up of fibre has increased during his tenure, with more than five million premises now using the service.

Joe said: “I’ve greatly enjoyed my time at Openreach and deciding to leave has been an extremely hard decision, but Nationwide is a firm I long-admired during my time in financial services. The opportunity to become CEO of one of Britain’s most important financial institutions and service champions just proved too good to turn down.

“I would like to thank the thousands of dedicated Openreach engineers who work so hard in the most challenging of conditions to keep millions of homes and businesses connected. They are the unsung heroes of the nation’s internet infrastructure.

“In my view, it is BT’s investment that has helped the UK to become one of the strongest digital economies in the world and I am proud to have contributed. Openreach is now poised to take the UK from a superfast to an ultrafast nation and I am confident it can achieve this as part of the BT family. I wish my successor at Openreach and everyone there and at BT all the best for the future.”

Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group said: “I am sad to see Joe leave but he is moving to a terrific job and I wish him well. Openreach is a stronger and more customer focused business as a result of his leadership and he leaves it in good shape as we begin our ultrafast journey.”