Openreach CEO steps down

16 November 2015 |

Joe Garner, CEO of BT’s broadband arm Openreach, has stepped down from his position less than two years into the role.

Prior to joining Openreach in February 2014, Garner headed up HSBC’s UK bank and he now plans to move back to the financial sector and take on the role of CEO at Nationwide in Spring 2016.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed my time at Openreach and deciding to leave has been an extremely hard decision, but Nationwide is a firm I long-admired during my time in financial services,” Garner said.

“The opportunity to become CEO of one of Britain’s most important financial institutions and service champions just proved too good to turn down.”Garner plans to move to the financial sector and will take on the role of Nationwide CEO in Spring 2016.

During his tenure at Openreach, Garner has increased the company’s fibre footprint from 18 million to 24 million premises, as well as placed a heavy focus on customer service in a bid to hit all 60 targets set by UK regulator Ofcom.

“I am sad to see Joe leave but he is moving to a terrific job and I wish him well,” said Gavin Patterson, BT CEO.

“Openreach is a stronger and more customer-focussed business as a result of his leadership and he leaves it in good shape as we begin our ultrafast journey.”

BT is yet to name a successor to Garner, heightening nationwide debate about the future of the company which controls the UK’s broadband network.

Many of BT’s UK rivals want to see Openreach fully separated from BT to give them better access to the broadband network, but BT has maintained that Openreach is crucial for the “digital health” of the UK