BT has announced that Livingston (currently chief executive of BT Retail) will succeed Ben Verwaayen as group CEO on 1 June 2008.
Livingston joined BT as group FD in 2002. He then moved to the BT Retail position in 2005 and was replaced as FD by Hanif Lalani – one of the nominees for finance director of the year, FTSE 100 category at this year’s Real FD/CBI FDs’ Excellence Awards.
Livingston’s appointment isn’t suprising but it must be a relief for him to officially get the gig. We’ve all heard the stories of those who have been groomed for the top job only to miss out at the last minute.
In a statement, BT chairman Mike Rake said Livingston was the board’s “unanimous choice to succeed Ben”. He added: “His record of achievement at BT and before that at Dixons is outstanding. He has a deep understanding of BT."
Verwaayen also had high praise for Livingston, describing him as a “great guy”. He said Livingston will “lead the company from strength to strength when he takes over as CEO in June”.
However, Verwaayen also had some kind words to say about Lalani. “I owe a particular debt of gratitude to the executive directors who have served alongside me on the board. Francois Barrault and Hanif Lalani have made a magnificent contribution. They are outstanding leaders,” he said.
Livingston’s position at BT Retail will be filled by Gavin Patterson, currently group managing director of BT’s consumer division.