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BT banks on ex-HSBC man to take charge of Openreach biz

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BT's outgoing Openreach boss Liv Garfield is to be replaced by a money man poached from Britain's struggling banking sector.

The telecoms giant said it had hired Joe Garner, 44, who was previously HSBC's UK boss where he helped steer the bank through the financial crisis, BT noted.

Garner will join BT in mid-February when he is expected to succeed Garfield, who resigned in November last year - just two months after Gavin Patterson became the telco's chief.

BT said that Garner, who previously worked at Dixons and Procter & Gamble, had an excellent record with wrangling customers' complaints at HSBC.

Presumably the firm is hoping that Garner can help put an end to BT's Openreach division being repeatedly slammed by other telcos for failing to adequately fix faults in a timely manner.

Joe Garner. Pic credit: BT

Communications watchdog Ofcom recently confirmed its plans to impose new rules on BT - which leases its lines to rival ISPs - that would force its Openreach engineers to "meet minimum performance standards" or else face sanctions that could include fines.

BT gushed that Garner knows his regulatory onions, too. Experience of which will make the new Openreach boss "invaluable" to the one-time national telco, apparently.

Garner said he was "thrilled" about the job, while Patterson said that the banker would help BT "expand our fibre optic network into rural areas." ®

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