BT Group has announced that the head of BT Retail will be succeeding Ben Verwaayen as chief executive of the group on 1 June 2008. Verwaayen is to leave the board of BT completely on 30 June.

The new chief executive will be Ian Livingstone, current chief executive of BT Retail.

Sir Mike Rake, BT chairman said of the outgoing chief executive, Ben has been an exceptional CEO whose courage and leadership has transformed BT from being a deeply troubled organisation into a thriving business with global capability and a clear

strategy for the future.

He continued, Ben has done more than anyone else to make Britain the most competitive broadband market in the world. He has been instrumental in restoring pride in BT.

Verwaayen first joined the company in 2002.

Verwaayen said, I have had six exciting years and I am extremely proud of the people in BT. Without them the company's recent success would not have been possible. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to the executive directors who have served alongside me on the Board.

He said of the incoming chief executive, Ian Livingston will lead the company from strength to strength when he takes over as CEO in June. He is a great guy with a fantastic record of business achievement.

Ian Livingston joined BT as group finance director in 2002. He took over as chief executive of BT Retail in 2005. Since then BT Retail has returned to growth and sharply increased profitability.

Ian Livingston said, Ben has been a tremendous CEO. He has changed BT through his passion and leadership. His informality and approachable style have won him

the admiration and respect of everyone in the business. BT is a great company with a strong history and an even more exciting future. I am very proud to have been chosen as its next CEO.

Gavin Patterson, managing director of BT's consumer division will take over as head of BT Retail.