BT Group (LON:BT.A) is in advanced talks to appoint Philip Jansen, the joint boss of payments technology operator Worldpay (LON:WPG), as its next chief executive, Sky News has revealed. The report comes as the former telecoms monopoly continues its search for a replacement to Gavin Patterson who announced plans to step down from the company this year following investor backlash.
BT’s share price has fallen into the red in London this morning, having given up 0.70 percent to 227.30p as of 09:01 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.33 percent lower at 7,465.30 points. The telco’s shares have lost just under a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.3-percent gain in the Footsie.
BT in talks with Worldpay boss
Sky News reported over the weekend that BT had identified Worldpay’s Jansen as its preferred candidate for the top job. Sources revealed to the newswire that Jansen, whose CV includes a stint as the managing director of Telewest Communications, had not yet formally agreed to accept the role but suggested that he was expected to do so.
“It’s his job to turn down,” one person close to the search process, which is being run by MWM Consulting, the boardroom headhunter, told the newswire.
The news comes after it recently emerged that former O2 chief executive Ronan Dunne had also emerged as a potential replacement to BT’s outgoing boss.
Analysts on blue-chip telco
Deutsche Bank reaffirmed BT as a ‘hold’ last week, while UBS continues to see the former telecoms monopoly as a ‘neutral’. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 273.13p.