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BT names Ian Livingston as new CEO
Tuesday 08 April 2008 09:00:16 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Ian Livingston has been named as the new CEO of BT Group from June. He will be taking over from current CEO Ben Verwaayen who steps down at the end of May having spent more than six years with the company. He will be moving into the post from his role as chief executive of BT Retail.

Over the last six years, BT has changed dramatically to adapt to the changing climate of competition at all different levels from wholesale down to retail. This has been a unique challenge for a company which, not that long ago, was the only provider of various services.

Many will remember Ben Verwaayen's as CEO because he was approachable and when occasionally as in any large company things did not go right an email to him and invariably help would be forthcoming. This helpful and approachable nature has possibly done more to change the face of BT in the UK than spending millions on flashy marketing could ever have achieved.

"Ben has been an exceptional CEO whose courage and leadership has transformed BT from being a deeply troubled organisation into a thriving business with global capability and a clear strategy for the future. [..] Ben has done more than anyone else to make Britain the most competitive broadband market in the world. He has been instrumental in restoring pride in BT. Everyone in the company owes him a huge debt of gratitude and wishes him well for the future."

Sir Mike Rake (Chairman), BT Group

Gavin Patterson, group managing director of BT's consumer division will become the CEO of BT Retail to fill the post vacated by Ian Livingston.


Posted by brindy over 9 years ago
I hope he's as good as Ben. Ben personally saw to it that my broadband problems were resolved.

That said, I think BT still has a lot of work to do. Last I heard their CRM systems are still fragmented and it was pretty clear that different parts of the overall BT business weren't communicating effectively, or in some cases at all.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
Whilst he did reply to me I was simply told to go through my isp for broadband fault resolution.
Posted by AndrueC over 9 years ago
It could be worse. When I first glanced at the article I thought it said that /Ken/ Livingstone had been appointed :D
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
That'd be good, you'd get a congestion charge on your broadband based on the size of your router.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"I was simply told to go through my isp for broadband fault resolution"

the green ink was a dead giveaway.
Posted by radiomarko over 9 years ago
Ben Verwaayen was indeed a dynamic force, and I have had results several times from his troubleshooting team when the resolution team (sic) failed to offer anything. BT still have a long, long way to go in the areas of customer care and internal communications but it's a world away from 10 years ago. Good luck Ben, I hope your culture of improvement survives.
Posted by SFD1968_Derby over 9 years ago
It's unusual for a company of that size to have a guy in charge who actually will deal with the "little people". I had a BT problem a few years ago, and was amazed to get an email back from Ben Verwaayen in response. He got my problem sorted out within a couple of days. Hope this new guy is as proactive and approachable as he was..
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
It takes more than a shuffling of staff to fix the issues within the organisation..... Just look at the government :D

Good luck and congrats to them if things take a turn for the better, personally though i just see it as another bod with a pay rise.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
especially as its an internal appointment.
Posted by Essex over 9 years ago
Have had personal contact with Mr Verwayeen over a few problems in our village to get broadband implemented. He took direct control over everyone of them. He is an asset to any large PLc as his attitude and hands on approach is a lesson to many.

Somehow I think Mr Livingstone's appointment is more for the shareholders, than for the future well being and enhancement of BT customers and the Broadband Highway of the UK.

Thank you Ben, good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

Posted by ruskin0 over 9 years ago
LMAO, its like an " Old Boys Club" aint it.
Posted by MauriceJ over 9 years ago
What he did not achieve is making BT Customer Services work. They do not even bother to reply to complaints - perhaps too large a problem given their total lack of interest once you are hooked into a contract.
Posted by clive4 over 9 years ago
All I can say is that Ben was approachable & he and his HLC team have been working to obtain a resolution to our reconnection and billing charges for the past nine months. But so much has had to be outsourced, by decree, that fragmentation and miscommunication are still a problem.
How would WE cope with Hindi or Urdu irate customers. Its the same in reverse.
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