Mar 8, 2021

BT chief under pressure from board after resignation threat

Philip Jansen, the chief executive of BT, has come under pressure from the company's independent board directors after he threatened to resign unless Jan du Plessis, chairman, retired. One person with knowledge of the situation said a number of the non-executive board members were "Extremely annoyed" about the implication that the board and its chairman were a roadblock to a faster turnround of BT. "There's been a lot of phone calls over the weekend," the person said. Another person on the board said it was "Ridiculous" to suggest the chairman had held the company back but said Jansen's job is not at risk despite the public fallout. Du Plessis appointed Jansen, the former Worldpay chief executive, to replace Gavin Patterson as chief executive in 2018 but the move did little to halt the slide in the company's share price which ticked down to a 11-year low last year. Jansen, described by his colleagues as an "Assertive" chief executive, has held talks over the past year with du Plessis about making the group's board quicker to react to improve BT's fortunes but has been frustrated by his more conservative chairman, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation.

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