Joe Garner will be replacing Liv Garfield as the new CEO of Openreach in coming months, where he will be responsible for heading up the UK’s national roll-out of superfast broadband.
Garner has previously worked at Dixons and Procter & Gamble, but was most recently HSBC’s head of UK banking.
Garner is also Chairman of the Financial Services Authority’s Practitioner Panel, which Openreach has said will provide “invaluable” experience given that it operates in a heavily regulated industry.
Garfield will be stepping down in mid-February and is leaving to become CEO of Severn Trent.
Garner will be heavily involved in fulfilling the government’s ambition to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, and has committed a minimum of £730 million up until 2015 to support the rollout.
All rural broadband deals so far financed through BDUK have gone to BT, after the only remaining competitor, Fujitsu, pulled out of the framework earlier this year, saying it couldn't compete on many contracts up for grabs.
MPs have criticised the government of mismanagement and have said that BT is in a “quasi-monopolistic” position as the only remaining bidder.
“I am thrilled to be joining Openreach at such a critical moment – a moment when technology is redefining how our society communicates. The massive investment that Openreach is making in the UK’s high speed internet infrastructure is something of a revolution that will greatly benefit people and businesses in this country,” Garner said today.
“I am grateful to my predecessor and the engineers who have already delivered so much. It is my ambition to build on this work and I intend to focus on customer service, continued innovation and maintaining fair and equal access for all.”
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