BT Retail to split into separate consumer, business units

UK telecoms incumbent BT Group is to split its Retail unit into separate consumer- and business-facing organizations when Gavin Patterson takes over from Ian Livingston as chief executive in September this year.

Called simply BT Consumer and BT Business, the new divisions are being created to help BT (London, UK) focus on its strategic priorities of “driving broadband-based consumer services” and “being the brand for business for UK SMEs”, said the operator in a statement.

UK telecoms incumbent BT Group is to split its Retail unit into separate consumer- and business-facing organizations when Gavin Patterson takes over from Ian Livingston as chief executive in September this year.

Called simply BT Consumer and BT Business, the new divisions are being created to help BT (London, UK) focus on its strategic priorities of “driving broadband-based consumer services” and “being the brand for business for UK SMEs”, said the operator in a statement.

John Petter, currently managing director of the consumer unit within BT Retail, will head up BT Consumer, while Graham Sutherland, who is in charge of BT Retail’s business activities, will become chief executive of BT Business.

BT Enterprise and BT Ireland – BT Retail’s other customer-facing units – will be merged into BT Business, while BT Wi-fi – which is currently a part of BT Enterprises – will be subsumed into BT Retail, along with the consumer parts of BT Ireland.

“BT Retail has delivered well for many years now contributing strong profits to the group,” said Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail. “It is time however for the business to be split in to 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,” he added.

For the three months to end June 2013, BT Retail reported revenues of £1.8 billion ($2.74 billion) – the same as in the corresponding period of 2012 – and signed up another 95,000 broadband customers, with 197,000 customers taking up one of its fiber broadband offers.

The unit also said that business revenues grew by 1% compared with the same part of 2012 – its best performance in more than four years – with revenues from IT services up by 9%.