New independent board member to join Openreach

Openreach, the UK’s leading digital network business, has appointed Andrew Barron as a non-executive member of its Board, effective from 1st June 2020.

Andrew is currently Deputy Chair of Tele2, the Swedish telecoms operator, and has had a long career in telecoms and media, with his most recent operating role as COO of Virgin Media up to its sale to Liberty Global in 2013. He will be joining the Board as an independent director on 1 June 2020.

He will replace Sir Brendan Barber, who was appointed at the Board’s inception in January 2017 and will step down on 31 May 2020, having completed over three years as an independent Board member.

 “Brendan has played a critical part in establishing the new governance at Openreach, and has been a strong voice on the Board as we have established Openreach as a limited company, responsible for 33,000 employees. Three years into the Board’s establishment, and as we continue to ramp up our ambitions to deliver fibre across the nation, this change to the Board reflects the more operational nature of our ongoing focus.  

“With extensive telecommunications experience in both executive and non-executive roles, Andrew is well placed to provide expertise and challenge to our discussions and will be invaluable as Openreach continues to ramp up its full fibre broadband rollout. While we are sorry to say goodbye to Brendan, and thank him for his contribution over the last three years, we are delighted to announce Andrew’s appointment to the Board.”
Mike McTighe, Chair of Openreach

The Board was established as one of a number of governance changes made at Openreach to bolster its transparency and autonomy.

Following the commitments made under Ofcom’s Digital Communications Review (DCR), on 1 October 2018 the business became a separate company, Openreach Limited, wholly owned by BT with an independent board, responsible for setting strategy and overseeing performance within a strategic and financial framework defined by BT.

The re-organisation included the largest TUPE[1] transfer of employees in UK corporate history, and has delivered improved customer service across its portfolio, while embracing an ambition to roll out full fibre broadband across the country, at increasing pace.

The Openreach board is made up of seven members:


· Mike McTighe, Openreach Chair

· Edward Astle

· Sir Brendan Barber, to be replaced by Andrew Barron 1 June 2020

· Liz Benison

· Clive Selley, Openreach Chief Executive

· Matt Davies, Openreach Chief Finance Officer

· Simon Lowth, BT Group Finance Director

[1] Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations