BT calls on McKinsey to head up new strategy unit 


The change is one of new CEO Allison Kirkby’s first company moves 


BT has appointed McKinsey executive Tom Meakin to interim ‘Chief Strategy and Change Officer’, the Financial Times has reported. 

According to an internal memo seen by the news source, Meakin, who is the global co-leader of McKinsey’s Consumer Technology & Media Practice, has been appointed to the role while the company searches for a permanent candidate. 

In an email seen the Financial Times, Kirkby announced the creation of the ‘strategy and change’ unit, whose appointed head would sit on the executive committee to “drive the refresh of BT Group’s corporate strategy” and “define the next phase of our transformation.” 

The memo read that “Over the next few weeks, Tom will be working closely with myself and the ExCo [executive committee] to design the broader unit and make sure the accountabilities for both strategy and major change are in the right place, so we’re set up well to deliver across the company. 

Allison Kirkby has been in the role since February, after being appointed in July last year as the company’s first female CEO. Coming from the role of CEO at Swedish operator Telia, Kirkby was already a non-executive board member of BT. Since the beginning of her tenure, she has been challenged with strengthening the company’s share price, which has fallen by 17% since January. 

In related news, last week rumours circulated that BT could be set to sell off its Irish unit, after shelving the idea back in 2020. In 2019 at the time of the potential sale, the unit was worth around €300 million. The Irish unit is Europe’s largest telecoms service wholesalers by revenue and market share and the second largest fixed line wholesaler in the Republic of Ireland. 

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