BT Revamps, Creates New Units

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) announced a new structure today, creating two new business units focused on service creation and delivery, both of which will be run by Andy Green -- best known as the long-standing head of BT Global Services . (See BT Unveils New Structure.)

Green is now CEO of Group Strategy and Operations and will be in charge of two new business units, BT Design and BT Operate, that will employ 20,000 staff drawn from the carrier's current design, operations, IT, and networks teams.

The carrier says BT Design will "be responsible for the design and development of new services," while BT Operate will "be responsible for their deployment and operation." These units will "meet the needs" of BT's operational units -- Retail, Wholesale, Global Services, and Openreach -- according to the company. (See strategy chart below.)

The move puts Green at the heart of BT's ongoing transformation from a traditional telco "into a networked IT services company, delivering software driven products over broadband," with the carrier's next-generation network (NGN), the 21CN, as the underlying enabling network. (See BT Aims to Finish 21CN in Late 2011.)

The carrier says the new structure will "deliver faster, more resilient and cost effective services to customers wherever they are."

But BT denies this move sets up Green as the successor to the carrier's CEO, Ben Verwaayen, who has been at the helm since early 2002.

"It's not about that. It's not about positioning anyone for anything," says a BT spokesman. "This is a realization at BT that we need to do things faster. Andy is considered to be the best person to lead this initiative, and it's a wrench for him to leave what has been his baby. He has been at Global Services for more than five years, but good executives always move along."

The spokesman says Verwaayen is, and always has been, on a 12-month rolling contract, an employment agreement that began in February 2002. "Ben is still loving the job and I can see him staying for years to come. This is about offering services in a faster and more reliable way. It's innovative, and Ben thinks there's no one else doing this in the world today."

The spokesman also says it's "too early to say what the impact on jobs will be. If we're going to be a software and services company then there will be opportunities for people to retrain. That will be attractive to some but not to others, but there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of this."

And costs? "We're not talking about costs as of today. It's a fundamental change, so there will be some costs involved, but they won't necessarily be big."

Green has been incredibly successful at BT Global Services, picking up the pieces from the disastrous Concert joint venture with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). He has focused on positioning BT as a supplier to large companies of managed and outsourced IT and communications services, a strategy helped along by some acquisitions. (See BT Goes Global – Again!, M&A Activities Firm Up BT Global, BT Wins Fiat, Buys Atlanet, BT Outlines Global Vision, and BT Plans Further Global Push.)

He has also shown himself to have a cool head, continuing with a keynote address at Supercomm 2003 only minutes after a fire, and under threat of being soaked by the sprinkler system. (See BT Keynote on Fire!)

His position as CEO of BT Global Services, which reported revenues of £2.3 billion (US$4.6 billion) in its most recently reported quarter, is taken by Francois Barrault, who was President of BT International. He now joins BT's board of directors.

BT's share price dropped slightly, by 2.5 pence, not quite 1 percent, to 311.5 pence this morning. In the past year, BT's share price has risen by more than 40 percent.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

ceysato 12/5/2012 | 3:08:14 PM
re: BT Revamps, Creates New Units It doesn't seem relevant, but seeing the new structure it seems that Andy Green's 'BT Design and Operate' should be on top of the other divisions, closer to customer...
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