IT 100 Special Report 2006 >



BT Group



There was a time when British Telecom Group seemed to try to get into just about everything related to telecommunications. But that strategy led the company deep into debt—and forced it to spin off its mobile-phone unit to dig itself out of the hole. Smart move. The refocused carrier today is back on its feet and doing just fine, thank you. Now, BT is busy building up-and-coming technologies such as Internet telephony and wireless networking, and recently announced plans to blanket a dozen British cities with Wi-Fi service. And it has homed in on small and midsize enterprises, with the result that half of all such companies in Britain that have broadband use BT services.

Company Info

2005 Rank


($ Millions)


Sales Growth
(over prev. year)

6 %

($ Millions)


Return on Equity

99.5 %

Total Return on Sales (12-mo.)


Share Price
As of 5/31/06




No. of Employees

Industry Telecommunications
*Trailing 12 months
Stock price data as of 5/31/06
DATA: Standard & Poor's Compustat

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Company Snapshot

BT Group, through its subsidiaries, provides communications solutions and services to business, residential, and wholesale customers in Europe, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific. It principally offers networked IT services; local, national, and international telecommunications services; and broadband and Internet products and services. The company provides various communications products and services, including voice, data, mobility, Internet, and multimedia services; offers a range of managed and packaged communications solutions; and provides a portfolio of networked IT services focused on messaging and conferencing, customer relationship management, convergence, outsourcing, applications hosting, and security. It also offers consultancy services to help organizations understand network performance, and operate their networks and applications. As of Mar. 31, 2006, the company had approximately 1.5 million business customers with approximately 8 million exchange lines, as well as approximately 18 million consumer customers with approximately 20 million residential customer lines in tBritain. It also provided network services and solutions to approximately 700 communications companies, including fixed and mobile network operators, Internet service providers, and other service providers in Britain, as of the above date. BT Group has strategic partnerships with Accenture, Cisco, Computer Sciences, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, and Nortel. The company was founded in 1981. It was formerly known as Newgate Telecommunications and changed its name to BT Group in 2001. BT Group is based in London.

Data provided by Capital IQ
Ben Verwaayen

Ben Verwaayen

Chief Executive Officer

Ben Verwaayen has been chief executive officer of BT Group since February, 2002. Verwaayen was formerly vice-chairman of Lucent Technologies. He joined Lucent in September, 1997, as executive vice-president, international, and became chief operating officer the following month. Prior to joining Lucent, Verwaayen worked for KPN in the Netherlands for nine years as president and managing director of its subsidiary, PTT Telecom. Verwaayen has been an independent nonexecutive director of United Parcel Service since March, 2005. Verwaayen was appointed to the board of BT Group in January, 2002. From 1975 to 1988, he worked for ITT in Europe. He is a member of the advisory council of ING.

Executive Data provided by Capital IQ