Light Reading

Bross Quits as BT's CTO

Ray Le Maistre
7/20/2009
50%
50%

Matt Bross, the high-profile and sometimes controversial chief technology officer (CTO) at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), has quit the British operator following an internal reorganization.

BT staff have been told that Bross has returned to the U.S. with his family and will be leaving the operator shortly. A BT spokeswoman tells Light Reading it was a "personal decision," and not related to any current organizational changes within the operator.

But Bross, who joined BT in 2002, will not be replaced, leaving BT without a CTO. (See Why Did BT Bring In Bross?)

So who's now in charge of BT's technology research strategy? The answer appears to be Al-Noor Ramji, the carrier's chief information officer (CIO), who joined the carrier in 2004, and who is already responsible for the carrier's network and application implementation. (See BT Names New OSS Boss.)

Here's the story.

Until recently, Bross, who was one of the main driving forces behind the operator's £10 billion (US$16.5 billion) 21st Century Network (21CN) project that was first unveiled in 2004, had been BT's Group CTO and the CEO of an internal division called BT Innovate. In that role he was responsible for the carrier's "technology strategy and the vision and direction of innovation across BT." (See BT Slows Down 21CN, Scraps Converged Service, Bross: More to Come on 21CN, and BT Moves Ahead With Mega Project.)

But on July 1, BT Innovate was merged with BT Design (the division set up in April 2007 to design and develop new services and run the 21CN transformation program) to create, logically enough, BT Innovate & Design.

According to a positioning statement on BT's Website, the new division "combines network and platform development with long-term technology strategy and research... [It] delivers strategic innovation and technology vision for BT through effective and coherent engagement with other parts of the BT organisation."

In effect, the new division is taking on the role of BT Innovate and the tasks previously undertaken by the Group CTO office, making it the home of technology research and innovation as well as day-to-day 21CN implementation.

BT Innovate & Design is headed by Ramji, who has a team of 15 business and technology executives reporting to him. Those executives include George Nazi (managing director of 21CN converged core) and JP Rangaswami (managing director of innovation and strategy).

The BT spokeswoman assures Light Reading that the reorganization was not the catalyst for Bross's departure, but she confirms that Ramji, who has been running the 21CN implementation program for the past two years, will be taking on some of the forward-looking responsibilities previously held by the CTO.

BT's decision to make its CIO the key technology executive is an interesting one that will likely be replicated by other carriers in the coming years, says Heavy Reading chief analyst Graham Finnie.

He says that while "the CTO still has the upper hand in most telcos" in terms of taking technology decisions and driving the network strategy, "the power is shifting towards the CIO... as the center of gravity in telcos shifts towards IT. This move looks like a reflection of BT's strategy to position itself as a company that's providing the network as a service, using next-generation OSS and opening up its network to third parties."

That strategy, incidentally, is one that Bross was instrumental in creating and promoting within BT and to the telecom sector in general. (See Telcos Soften Up, BT Inches Toward Telco 2.0, and Carriers Surf the Web 2.0 Wave.)

It's not known what Bross plans next.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mostly Harmless
50%
50%
Mostly Harmless,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:00:22 PM
re: Bross Quits as BT's CTO


...on Bross.


He's a clever guy, no doubt.  But I look back at those dodgy share deals in the past and wonder.  Then again, if I'd had the same opportunity I'm sure I would have done the same thing.


BT provides a number of example of apparent conflicts of interest in the last few years so I'm sure Matt's track record is nothing unusual.


And while his vision for 21CN is absolutely on the money, it must have been incredibly frustrating to continually have meetings with BT dinosaurs who would give him 15 reasons why anything he wanted to do was impossible.  The status quo culture in BT is endemic.


21CN execution has been a joke.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Honestly
50%
50%
Honestly,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:00:21 PM
re: Bross Quits as BT's CTO


No need to bring up old news about stock, etc.  Looks like Ramij will be backed up Nazi.  Sounds like a real power play to me.  It use to be Bross's kingdom.  New politics for certain.

bollocks187
50%
50%
bollocks187,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:00:16 PM
re: Bross Quits as BT's CTO
I agree on the stock issue - I thought that is why he went into USA Exile in the first place with BT.

Yes Matt was instrumental in the 21CN, and yes he will alos be know for his own politics and can take the title of marconi Killer and Chinese.

He will land where the OLD CEO of BT landed - they are a pair of XXXX.
trzwuip
50%
50%
trzwuip,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:00:15 PM
re: Bross Quits as BT's CTO


VP Special projects at Huawei?

bollocks187
50%
50%
bollocks187,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:00:12 PM
re: Bross Quits as BT's CTO


Good suggestion..... I think CTO of Whoreway in the West is the a better fit for him. After all they have no Western executives to speak about,  so Matt would be a good fit plus good payback.


 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment