BT Group has named Allison Kirkby as  its chief executive and she will earn a basic salary of £1.1m.

She will take over from Philip Jansen as CEO at the end of January 2024 at the latest.

Kirkby has been president and CEO of Swedish-headquartered Telia Company since early 2020.

Telia is the market leading digital communications and telecommunications provider to 25 million customers across the Nordic and Baltic region.

She moved into the TMT sector in 2010, initially joining Virgin Media, and was most recently president and CEO of TDC (2018-2020), the largest telecommunications company in Denmark, and president and CEO of Tele2 AB (2015-2018) the largest challenger telecommunications company in Sweden and the Baltics.

Earlier in her career she held a number of financial and operational roles at Procter & Gamble (1990-2010) and qualified as a chartered management accountant in 1990 whilst at Guinness plc.

Kirkby has been a non-executive director at BT Group since 2019.

BT chief executive Philip Jansen to step down

Adam Crozier, BT Group chairman said: “The board is delighted to have appointed Allison as our new chief executive. She is a proven leader, with deep sector experience and a history of having transformed businesses.

“I look forward to supporting her as we drive our long-term strategy to transform BT Group, ensuring it delivers for all our stakeholders.”

Allison Kirkby said: “I’m incredibly honoured to have been appointed as the next chief executive of BT Group.

“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.

“Our products and services have never been more important to how our customers live and work, and thanks to the significant investment BT is putting into digital infrastructure and in the modernisation of its services, I see us playing an even more important role going forward.

“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, as we grow to support customers, shareholders and the UK economy.”

Philip Jansen will continue to serve as chief executive until the end of January 2024 at the latest.

BT to cut 55,000 jobs as it looks to embrace AI

Crozier said: “Philip continues to lead the business very effectively as can be seen in the good progress shown at our most recent financial results. Given Allison is already on the board, we are confident we will have an orderly leadership transition and handover of responsibilities.”

Kirkby will be paid in accordance with the Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders in July 2023 and in line with the current chief executive. Her remuneration will therefore consist of:

  • A salary of £1.1m per annum;
  • A cash allowance in lieu of pension of 10 per cent of salary and other benefits in line with BT’s remuneration policy.
  • An on target annual bonus of 120 per cent of salary (with a maximum of 200 per cey) subject to performance. Half of the annual bonus paid will be deferred into BT Group shares for a further three years with no additional performance conditions.
  • A long-term Restricted Share Plan (RSP) award of 200 per cent of salary, which vests in three equal tranches three, four and five years after grant. She is required to hold all vested shares until five years after grant. Her first pro rata RSP award will be granted soon after becoming Chief Executive.
  • Allison will be required to build a shareholding of 500 per cent of salary within five years.