BT Retail To Split Consumer And Business Divisions

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BT Retail to split into two separate businesses from September

BT Retail is to split into separate consumer and business units this September, claiming it will enable the company to better serve its customers.

BT Business, which currently serves SMEs, will merge with BT Enterprises and the business part of BT Ireland, while BT Consumer will assume control of BT Wi-Fi and the consumer part of BT Ireland.

John Petter will become the CEO of BT Consumer and Graham Sutherland will assume the role of CEO at BT Business. The two men are currently managing directors of the consumer and business units of BT Retail respectively.

BT Retail ‘four way’

BT tower“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity. BT is in a four way tussle with Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk for broadband customers and we are at the start of an exciting journey with BT Sport,” said Petter. “There has never been a better time to be a consumer and we plan to up the ante in the coming years.”

“Small and medium-sized businesses are the life blood of the economy and they are central to our plans,” added Sutherland. “BT Business has a rich set of services and the combination with BT Enterprises and BT Ireland, both fantastic businesses, will help us to grow. It is a pleasure to take on this role at such an exciting time.”

Both will report to Gavin Patterson who will become BT Group CEO in September, replacing the outgoing Ian Livingston, who is to join the House of Lords before taking up an unpaid role as minister for trade and investment in the government.

“BT Retail has delivered well for many years now contributing strong profits to the group,” said Patterson, who is currently BT Retail CEO. “It is time however for the business to be split in two given the intensely competitive nature of the consumer market and our strong ambitions in the business space.

“John and Graham are excellent leaders and I have every confidence they will take the fight to the competition and help BT to grow in the future.”

BT added 95,000 new broadband customers during the first quarter of 2013 as half a million people signed up to its new BT Sport channels, which are offered free with any Internet package. The new channels are set to launch on Thursday and are part of attempts to prevent customers from changing broadband suppliers.

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