BT Retail to split into two separate entities

BT Consumer and BT Business will be led by John Petter and Graham Sutherland respectively.

New Statesman
BT logo. Credit: Getty Images.

BT Retail, a division of the British telecommunications provider BT Group, is planning to split into two separate businesses, called BT Consumer and BT Business, in order to better serve its customers.

The move will be effective from 1 September 2013.

As part of the reogranisation, John Petter, currently managing director of the consumer unit within BT Retail, will become the CEO of BT Consumer. Graham Sutherland, currently managing director of the business unit within BT Retail, will become the CEO of BT Business.

Petter and Sutherland, who will join BT Group’s operating committee, will continue to report to Gavin Patterson when he takes over from Ian Livingston as BT Group CEO on 1 September 2013.

BT Retail currently comprises BT Consumer, BT Business, BT Enterprises, and BT Ireland.

Going forward, BT Ireland and BT Enterprises, which consists of BT Conferencing, BT Payphones, BT Directories, BT Fleet, BT Wi-fi, BT Redcare, BT Expedite and Fresca, and BT Tikit, will merge with BT Business, while BT Wi-fi and the consumer part of BT Ireland will transfer to BT Consumer.

Patterson said: “BT Retail has delivered well for many years now contributing strong profits to the group. It is time however for the business to be split in two given the intensely competitive nature of the consumer market and our strong ambitions in the business space.”

Petter said: “I am thrilled to be given this opportunity. BT is in a four way tussle with Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk for broadband customers and we are at the start of an exciting journey with BT Sport. There has never been a better time to be a consumer and we plan to up the ante in the coming years.”

Sutherland said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the life blood of the economy and they are central to our plans. BT Business has a rich set of services and the combination with BT Enterprises and BT Ireland, both fantastic businesses, will help us to grow. It is a pleasure to take on this role at such an exciting time.”