BT kicks off search for new finance chief

BT said finance chief Tony Chanmugam may step down this year. Picture: VisMedia
BT said finance chief Tony Chanmugam may step down this year. Picture: VisMedia
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Telecoms giant BT has begun the search to replace its long-serving group finance director.

The firm said that Tony Chanmugam, who first took up his post in 2008, “may step down later this year”.

It added: “BT confirms that a search process has commenced to find a successor but that no formal decision has been taken on a replacement or around the potential timing of any change.”

One of the key tasks of any incoming finance head will be to manage the group’s £12.5 billion buyout of mobile phone firm EE, which was completed last month after being cleared by the Competition & Markets Authority a few weeks earlier.

This significant deal hands the firm 35 per cent of the mobile consumer market and a similar share of the UK’s consumer broadband business.

BT will be able to offer bundles of telecoms, TV, broadband and mobile to its customers to compete better with rivals such as Sky and Virgin Media.

READ MORE: BT to retain EE brand as profits surge by 24%

Last year mobile operator O2 agreed to a sale to Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of rival operator Three, for £10.3bn, further increasing the consolidation across the UK media and telecoms markets.

Aside from this deal, regulator Ofcom is carrying out its first significant review of the telecoms sector for a decade, and is considering options including a split of BT networks business Openreach.

Openreach provides the final mile of network connection into consumers’ homes, and is used by rival operators. Rivals regularly complain about the service Openreach offers, but many industry analysts forecast Ofcom recommendations will fall short of splitting the business away from BT. Ofcom’s digital communications review is expected to be published later this month.

BT said Chanmugam has established a “strong reputation for cost transformation” at the firm. Prior to his role as group finance director, he held senior posts at the telecoms giant’s retail, enterprises and global solutions divisions.

Last week, BT posted a 24 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £862 million for the third quarter to the end of December as it boosted business and consumer customers.

It also recorded its best revenue growth for more than seven years – up 3 per cent to £4.5bn over the same period.

The firm, which enjoyed its first full quarter of trading since securing the rights to broadcast Champions League football, added 97,000 new TV customers, driving up its total customer base to 1.4 million.