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Olivia Garfield appointed new head at BT Openreach
Tuesday 15 March 2011 10:37:57 by John Hunt

BT have appointed Olivia Garfield to head up Openreach from April 1st after it has been announced that Steve Robertson is stepping down. Robertson took Openreach from inception in 2005 to its current position where it offers all communication providers open and equal access to BT's network. Robertson will stay on to ensure a smooth transition before moving on to new opportunities.

"Steve Robertson became Chief Executive of Openreach before it was set up - he effectively created a new division of the Group. His achievements at the helm of Openreach have been tremendous. He decided a while ago that, after six years running Openreach, it was time to pass over to someone else to take the business on to the next stage of transformation. His enthusiasm and drive will be missed.

Given Steve's departure, I am delighted to be able to announce that Liv Garfield succeeds him. She has done a fabulous job as Strategy Director and has gained recognition both in and beyond BT for her leadership skills."

Ian Livingston, (Chief Executive) BT

Garfield will be moving from her role as BT Group Director of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs from which she has overseen the company's strategy to roll out fibre broadband.

"Openreach is a terrific business - one that underpins much of the UK economy - so being selected to lead it is a fantastic opportunity and one that I am thrilled to have been offered."

Competition in UK telecommunications has led to low prices and innovative new services, and my aim is to ensure that continues. Fibre broadband is the future and I am determined to make it available to as many homes and businesses as possible via a wide range of providers."

Olivia Garfield, (Director of Strategy and Regulatory Affairs) BT Group

Sean Williams, previously of Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading, will move from his roll as head of Strategy at BT Retail to take over as Group Strategy Director.


Posted by asylum_seeker over 6 years ago
Olivia love, just one request: please increase your (BT wholesale) bandwidth as nearly every exchange up and down the country creaks to a halt come 6pm. If every LLU provider can provide enough bandwidth for their users why can't BTW?
Posted by Matchstick over 6 years ago
And some love for those Market 1 exchanges where you've been charging customers more for years (courtesy of OFCOM) but failing to upgrade would be nice. Rolling out WBC nationwide would be a decent start, we can worry about FTTx later.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@asylum:I gave you 2/10 for reading comprehension :)

Olivia is not in charge of BTw bandwidth. She has been appointed head of BTor, not BTw.

I'm sure she'd be as keen as you to see BTw or BTr increase their bandwidth. It would increase her revenues.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@Matchstick:You seem to be overlooking the possibility that those exchanges are more expensive to provide for in the first place.
Posted by mabibby over 6 years ago

For those who do not have the corporate background.

This means nothing the public, this basically indicates internally BT OR employees will be subjected to new different shades of bureaucracy.
Posted by fastman over 6 years ago
mabibby think you might want to look at Openreach and how it has to interacts with rest of Bt Group and external market in a equivalent manner - please note olivia Garfield has been appointed head of Openreach there is not division called BT Openreach -- is is just Openreach
Posted by mabibby over 6 years ago

If you want to be pedantic over trade names then fair cop. As far as I'm concerned it's BT Openreach , beacause it's part of the BT group and it's called Openreach.

Still my point was merely just dismissing any claims that a change of head will mean many changes in the eyes of the public.

Posted by fastman over 6 years ago
openreach is all out equivalence and openreach only works on behalf on communication providers and has to deal with all CP's in a equivalent way (this including those within the BT Group) and those outside of it regardless of size or footprint
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
This will make no impact to the running of Openreach or BT as a whole I suspect. The same hickups and the same practices will go on.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
'same hickups and the same practices' Such as?
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
@Somerset I couldn't possibly comment! The powers at be are probably already on to me as I know too much.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

You're ignorance makes me want to stab a kitten.
Posted by asylum_seeker over 6 years ago
sorry, i got Openreach & BT Wholesale mixed up!
Posted by Matchstick over 6 years ago
@AndrueC the figures I've heard quoted suggest that a typical un-upgraded Market 1 exchanges is significantly cheaper to provid for since the slower ADSL connections use cheaper equipment in the exchange and require less back-haul bandwidth to per customer.

If that is the case surely you'd agree that Market 1 exchanges should have seen additional investment in return for the higher fees customers on them paid ?
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

No your entire comment was incorrect.

BTW provides what ISP's pay for, including BT Retail.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Liv Garfield. hmm. she's the one who said that people put on cabinets needn't expect an upgrade? She also said cabinets were futureproof a few months ago. How come she's changed her tune and wants to roll out proper fibre broadband?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@Matchstick:Not neccessarily :)

They might be cheaper to run but the investment required to upgrade them is going to be paid for by fewer people. That means it will take longer to recoup the cost. Part of the reason for the increased cost may in fact be that BT is still trying to recoup the cost of the last investment.
Posted by keith969 over 6 years ago
Whenever a company name or product has the word 'Open' in it, you can be absolutely sure its not open.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
'Open' as available to any telco.
Posted by TerFar over 6 years ago
Wow, so BT Openreach have now employed a stuffed cat as their strategically important head. That must be an improvement.
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