BT brings in Joe Garner as CEO of Openreach

Joe Garner has been hired by BT to head up Openreach, its local networks unit that is rolling out super-fast broadband in Britain.

Garner has joined from HSBC where, until September 2012, he was responsible for its retail and commercial banking business in Britain. At the banking group, he gained significant experience of working in a strictly regulated industry and of dealing with regulators, which BT has said will help as it continues to expand the reach of its fibre optic network.

He has also served in senior roles at Dixons and Procter & Gamble.

Commenting on his appointment, Garner said: “I am thrilled to be joining Openreach at such a critical moment – a moment when technology is redefining how our society communicates. The massive investment that Openreach is making in the UK’s high speed internet infrastructure is something of a revolution that will greatly benefit people and businesses in this country. I am grateful to my predecessor and the engineers who have already delivered so much. It is my ambition to build on this work and I intend to focus on customer service, continued innovation and maintaining fair and equal access for all.”

Gavin Patterson, BT Group CEO, added: “I am delighted to welcome Joe to the team. His experience of managing a large regulated business with a substantial workforce will help us as we expand our fibre optic network into rural areas. He will also ensure that Openreach continues to play a vital role in supporting businesses, consumers and communities the length and breadth of the country.”

Garner, who will assume responsibilities from mid-February, will replace Liv Garfield, who is leaving to become CEO of Severn Trent.

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