Former ITV boss Adam Crozier appointed new chairman of BT

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Adam CrozierImage source, Getty Images

The former boss of Royal Mail, ITV and the Football Association, Adam Crozier, is to become the new chairman of BT.

Mr Crozier will succeed retiring chairman Jan du Plessis and will join the telecoms giant's board in November, the company announced.

BT said the incoming boss had "built a strong track record in turning around organisations".

The telecoms giant has been criticised for the time it has taken to build its full-fibre network.

Mr Crozier also joins Britain's biggest broadband and mobile provider at a time when there is a degree of uncertainty over the future of its sports arm.

The Premier League has agreed to roll over its existing television deal for football rights with broadcasters for this season, which include BT Sport. However, the group confirmed in April it was in talks with several companies about the future of its broadcasting operation.

It is not clear if the move means selling a stake in BT Sport or a full sale of the division. BT chief executive Philip Jansen has told the BBC he is "open-minded" on the options for it.

Mr Crozier also will have to work with French telecoms tycoon Patrick Drahi, who acquired a 12% stake in BT in June.

Image source, Getty Images

Mr Crozier has worked across several different industries. He was chief executive of ITV from 2010 to 2017 and before that, Royal Mail, where he was responsible for modernising the business.

Under his leadership, ITV's financial performance improved dramatically, with earnings per share increasing by more than 800%.

However, on leaving Royal Mail to join ITV, the main postal union reacted with outrage when it was revealed he paid £2.42m in his final year with the group, where he oversaw a national strike.

Prior to Royal Mail he was the boss of the Football Association between 2000 and 2002 and joint chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi from 1995 to 2000.

'Unanimous choice'

Mr Crozier said it was an "honour" to join BT, adding it was "a hugely important company, with a critical role to play in building the digital networks and services to support the UK's future".

When he joins BT, he will step down as chairman of Asos and will also step down as an non-executive director of Sony Corporation at the end of this year.

However, Mr Crozier will remain chairman of Whitbread, which owns the hotel chain Premier Inn.

Iain Conn, BT's senior independent director, said Mr Crozier was the "unanimous choice" of the board.

Outgoing chairman Jan du Plessis said he was "delighted" with the choice of his successor.

"I am immensely grateful to my fellow board members for their support and hard work during my tenure as chairman. I wish Adam every success as he joins the board at a very exciting time for the company and I wish BT the very best for the future."