UK regulator Ofcom’s former chief Stephen Carter was added to a growing list of contenders to replace Gavin Patterson as CEO of BT.

While Carter, currently CEO of publishing and events company Informa Group, is the seventh name linked with the soon-to-be vacant position, he is the first to be formally approached by the operator, sources told Sky News.

On paper, Carter is likely to be appealing to BT given its frequent issues with regulator Ofcom, an organisation the executive led from its foundation in 2003 until 2006.

He later worked for Alcatel-Lucent and also in UK government departments related to digital, communications and technology.

CEO search
Since BT announced Patterson was set to step down later this year, details of its progress in recruiting a successor have been sparse: indeed, BT is yet to indicate when the current CEO is likely to leave.

Names initially linked with the role included former O2 UK boss and current Verizon president Ronan Dunne; BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera; ex-EE chief and current Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee; and CEO of water company Severn Trent Liv Garfield.

A Bloomberg article from early August added Carter, BT CFO Gavin Lowth and CEO of Sweden-based operator group Tele2 Allison Kirkby to that list.

With the exception of Kirkby and Carter, all of those linked have previously – or currently – worked for BT, its subsidiaries or a company now owned by the operator.

Whoever takes the role will face significant challenges with the company midway through changing the focus of its consumer business and slashing its overheads.

It also faces regular battles with authorities on fibre rollout, a huge pension deficit and pressure from investors who have seen its share price lose more than half its value since hitting a five year high in November 2015.