Joe Garner, CEO of BT Openreach (NYSE: BT) is leaving the company to become the CEO of Nationwide Building Society. Garner, who took the reins of Openreach from Olivia Gardner in 2014, will assume his new post in spring 2016 after the company finds a replacement.
Other than saying it would appoint a new CEO of Openreach "in due course," BT did not indicate whether the new leader would be from inside or outside of the company.
During his nearly two-year tenure, Garner oversaw BT's expansion of its fiber-based broadband network footprint, including a mix of fiber-to-the-cabinet and FTTH, from 18 million premises to more than 24 million premises.
BT noted that fiber-based broadband adoption has increased during his tenure, with more than 5 million premises now using the service.
In tandem with expanding the availability of the broadband service, Garner focused on improving customer service and operations during his time at Openreach, enabling the unit to meet or exceed all 60 service targets set by UK telecom regulator Ofcom.
Garner also oversaw Openreach's trials of G.fast technology, one that enables traditional telcos to achieve gigabit speeds over existing copper wires.
Openreach said in August that it will move ahead with plans to begin deploying the technology in 2016 and 2017 alongside its FTTC and FTTP services. It is working with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) on a consumer test of G.fast in Gosforth, located in northeast England.
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