BT share price: Telco poised to search for new chair

on May 23, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

BT Group (LON:BT.A) is set to start a search for a successor to its long-serving chairman Sir Mike Rake at the end of this year, the Financial Times has revealed. The news comes at a sensitive time for the former telecoms monopoly, with rivals pushing for the break-up of the group’s Openreach division.

BT’s share price surged 2.33 percent to close at 443.00p on Friday. The telco’s shares have been little changed this morning, changing hands 0.23 percent higher at 444.00p as of 08:03 BST, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slipped marginally into the red and currently stands 0.09 percent lower at 6,150.55 points.
BT’s chairman Sir Mike Rake told the FT over the weekend that he would remain in his position until ‘at least September 2017’. The comments followed the telco’s annual report last week which revealed that the group’s independent board members had asked Sir Mike to continue given the ‘relatively new’ chief executive. BT’s boss Gavin Patterson took the helm at the former telecoms monopoly in 2013 and has since made some bold moves, including the takeover of mobile operator EE, as well as investing billions of pounds to broadcast live sport.

The news of BT’s upcoming search for a new chair comes after the telco’s rivals Sky (LON:SKY), TalkTalk (LON:TALK) and Vodafone (LON:VOD) were recently reported to be planning to write to Sharon White, the head of industry regulator Ofcom, pressing her to implement a 10-point plan which includes cutting BT off from Openreach’s £1.4-billion cash flow.
The regulator, which recently stopped short of recommending the break-up of BT, is expected to finalise its proposals for the future of BT’s Openreach division over the summer.
As of 08:18 BST, Monday, 23 May, BT Group plc share price is 443.00p.