Listen to this article
Give us your feedback Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
BT has appointed Sabine Chalmers, a former Anheuser-Busch InBev executive, its new general counsel in the latest shake-up at the telecoms company.
Ms Chalmers, named in the Financial Times Global General Counsel 20 list for 2017, left her role at AB InBev in September after 13 years with the drinks company behind brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois. She is also on the board of Coty, the beauty company, and the Royal National Theatre.
She will be confirmed in the role in January, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The legal veteran is the latest addition to BT’s executive team that has been overhauled in the past 18 months during a turbulent period. New faces include Jan du Plessis, who took over as chairman in November from miner Rio Tinto, and Cathryn Ross, the former chief executive of energy regulator Ofwat, who will lead the company’s regulatory team from January.
The heads of BT’s consumer and global services divisions have also been replaced as the company attempts to revive growth prospects. Shares in BT are at a four-year low following an accounting scandal in Italy, a profit warning and a record fine by the regulator Ofcom. A revision of BT’s dividend policy also led to a hefty payout to its largest shareholder, Deutsche Telekom.
Ms Chalmers will report directly to Gavin Patterson, chief executive. She replaces Dan Fitz who has been general counsel since 2010. Mr Fitz will remain as company secretary, according to a person with knowledge of the change.
BT declined to comment.
Ms Chalmers has overseen some of the largest corporate mergers in the past two decades. She joined Guinness in 1993 before its merger with Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo. She switched to InBev as chief legal officer in 2005, and helped integrate Interbrew and AmBev to form the world’s largest brewer. InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch in a $52bn deal in 2008 and, more recently, SABMiller.