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BT appoints first female CEO: former Telia boss Allison Kirkby

Written by Thu 3 Aug 2023

Picture of Allison Kirkby

BT Group has appointed Allison Kirkby as its first female CEO on a £1.1 million ($1.4 million) salary. 

The former President and CEO of Sweden’s Telia will replace BT’s current CEO Philip Jansen by January 2024.

“BT is such an important company for the UK, and our many customers both in the UK and internationally and is uniquely placed to help everyone benefit from the rapid advances in digitalisation,” said Kirkby.

On top of the £1.1 million, Kirkby will receive a cash allowance in lieu of pension of 10% of salary and a maximum target annual bonus of 200%. Kirkby will be required to build a shareholding of 500% of salary within five years.

“Having been a member of the BT Group Board for the past four years, I’m fully supportive of our strategy and am excited about leading it into its next phase of development,” added Kirkby.

At Telia, Allison Kirkby invested heavily in 5G networks, streamlined operations, shed staff, and divested assets. Similarly, BT is set to invest billions in building a national fibre broadband network and extending 5G mobile coverage.

“[Alison] is a proven leader, with deep sector experience and a history of having transformed businesses,” said Adam Crozier, BT Group Chairman.

In May, BT announced plans to cut up to 55,000 jobs by 203o in a shift to artificial intelligence and automated services.

Reuters reported that Telia Chair, Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, and the board regretted Kirkby’s resignation, stating that she had made a ‘positive and lasting impact’.

Shares in BT have fallen by more than 45% since Jansen took over in 2019. On Monday, they were trading down 0.7%. Telia’s stock fell by 4.2%.

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Written by Thu 3 Aug 2023

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