BT share price: Group poaches Rio Tinto’s chairman

on Mar 9, 2017
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

BT Group (LON:BT.A) has appointed Rio Tinto’s (LON:RIO) chairman Jan du Plessis as a successor to Sir Mike Rake who is set to retire later this year, the company has said. The move comes at a sensitive time for the former telecoms monopoly which was recently hit by an accounting scandal at its Italian unit, and is further under pressure to give more independence to its network division Openreach.

BT’s share price has fallen marginally into the red in early morning trade, having slipped 0.37 percent lower to 327.49p as of 08:01 GMT, in line with losses in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.37 percent worse off at 7,307.16 points.
The telco’s shares have lost more than 30 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some 10 percent in the year-to-date.

BT announced in a statement this morning that it had appointed Jan du Plessis to succeed Sir Mike Rake as chairman. Rio Tinto’s chairman is set to join the telco’s broad as a non-executive director from June 1 and take over from Rake on November 1.
“Our desire was to find someone with deep experience of leading high profile organisations and who would also have credibility with our key stakeholders,” Nick Rose, senior independent director at BT who led the search for a new chair, commented in the statement. “We ran a thorough process to ensure we identified the very best candidate to lead BT. Jan is the unanimous choice of the Board.”
Du Plessis will face several challenges at the former telecoms monopoly which recently issued a profit warning, having discovered an accounting black hole at its Italian unit. The company is further under pressure from regulator Ofcom to give more dependence to its network division Openreach.
As of 08:17 GMT, Thursday, 09 March, BT Group plc share price is 328.45p.

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