(Reuters) – BT <BT.L> has approached Informa <INF.L> chief executive Stephen Carter as a possible replacement for Gavin Patterson and is keen to announce a new CEO by the end of October, Sky News reported.
However, Carter was not part of any recruitment process, Sky cited a friend of the former head of British telecoms regulator Ofcom as saying on Tuesday.
Carter might be persuaded to take the job in the coming months, Sky said, also citing the unnamed friend.
Patterson stepped down as BT CEO in June after almost five years when its chairman said a new leader was needed to overhaul Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile provider.
Jan du Plessis, the new BT chairman overseeing the search for a CEO, is keen to announce an appointment by the end of October, Sky reported, citing people close to the company.
BT said in June it expects to have Patterson’s replacement in place during the second half of the year.
Other possible candidates for the role include Olaf Swantee, the former CEO of EE, acquired by BT three years ago, and Allison Kirkby, chief executive of Swedish telco Tele2 AB <TEL2b.ST>, Sky reported, without giving sources.
BT was not immediately available for comment.
Patterson announced 13,000 job cuts at BT in May in an attempt to curb a host of problems including intense competition, an underperforming IT services unit, a huge pension deficit and criticism of its broadband plans.
But his position was put in jeopardy after the company failed to hit a revenue target and forecast no growth in profit for the next couple of years.
BT shares fell by more than a third during Patterson’s tenure and in June Plessis said the board supported his strategy but did not have confidence in his ability to see it through.
Analysts at Bernstein had identified CFO Simon Lowth and consumer boss Marc Allera as possible candidates, but added that an external candidate was more likely.
The company has also run into issues with Britain’s telecoms regulator Ofcom about the fate of Openreach, which runs the national broadband network and when Ofcom fined BT a record 42 million pounds for service failures.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith)