BT’s CEO self-isolates amid coronavirus diagnosis

BT’s CEO self-isolates amid coronavirus diagnosis

13 March 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Philip Jansen, CEO of BT Group has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and following health protocols is having to self-isolate.

In a statement on the BT Group website, the company confirmed that it is working closely with Public Health England to carry out “a full deep clean” of parts of its Group headquarters and will support any employees who have had contact with Philip ensuring they are “appropriately advised”.

“Having felt slightly unwell I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home,” Jansen said.

“I’ve met several industry partners this week so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could.”

“Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

Jansen was appointed to the role of BT’s CEO back in 2018, having previously served as co-chief executive of Worldpay, which he joined in 2013. He was managing director of the consumer division of Telewest, a UK cable TV company that later merged with rivals to form Virgin Media.

At the start of the year, Jansen confirmed that under the government’s new rules in which Huawei is only permitted to be used in limited parts of any UK 5G network and only to a limited percentage, would cost the firm $500 million in order to remove and replace existing equipment.

“We are in the process of reviewing the guidance in detail to determine the full impact on our plans and at this time estimate an impact of around £500m over the next five years,” said Jansen at the time.