BT Group plc has announced the appointment of Glaswegian Allison Kirkby as its next chief executive.
Kirkby will take over from Philip Jansen around the end of January 2024 at the latest.
“Allison has been President & CEO of Telia Company since early 2020,” said BT.
“Telia, headquartered in Sweden, is the market leading digital communications and telecommunications provider to 25 million customers across the Nordic and Baltic region.
“She moved into the TMT sector in 2010, initially joining Virgin Media, and was most recently President & CEO of TDC (2018-2020), the largest telecommunications company in Denmark, and President & CEO of Tele2 AB (2015-2018) the largest challenger telecommunications company in Sweden and the Baltics.
“Earlier in her career she held a number of financial and operational roles at Procter & Gamble (1990-2010) and qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1990 whilst at Guinness plc.
“Allison has been a Non-Executive Director at BT Group since 2019 and is also a Non-Executive Director and member of the Audit Committee of Brookfield Asset Management Limited.”
Kirkby was born in Scotland in 1967 and studied accounting at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
BT Group chairman Adam Crozier, also a Scot, said: “The board is delighted to have appointed Allison as our new chief executive.
“She is a proven leader, with deep sector experience and a history of having transformed businesses. I look forward to supporting her as we drive our long-term strategy to transform BT Group, ensuring it delivers for all our stakeholders.”
Kirkby said: “I’m incredibly honoured to have been appointed as the next Chief Executive of BT Group.
“BT is such an important company for the UK, and our many customers both in the UK and internationally and is uniquely placed to help everyone benefit from the rapid advances in digitalisation.
“Our products and services have never been more important to how our customers live and work, and thanks to the significant investment BT is putting into digital infrastructure and in the modernisation of its services, I see us playing an even more important role going forward. Having been a member of the BT Group board for the past four years, I’m fully supportive of our strategy and am excited about leading it into its next phase of development, as we grow to support customers, shareholders and the UK economy.”
Kirkby’s remuneration will include a salary of £1.1 million per annum, a cash allowance in lieu of pension of 10% of salary, and an “on target” annual bonus of 120% of salary (with a maximum of 200%) subject to performance.
Half of the annual bonus paid will be deferred into BT Group shares for a further three years with no additional performance conditions.
Kirkby’s remuneration package will also include a long-term Restricted Share Plan (RSP) award of 200% of salary, which vests in three equal tranches three, four and five years after grant. She is required to hold all vested shares until five years after grant.
Her first pro rata RSP award will be granted soon after becoming chief executive. Kirkby will be required to build a shareholding of 500% of salary within five years.