Philip Jansen, co-CEO of payments processing company Worldpay, was the latest name to be mooted as a potential successor to outgoing BT chief Gavin Patterson.
Sources told Sky News discussions between BT and Jansen are at an “advanced” stage and, while he is yet to accept, it is “his job to turn down”. If terms are agreed, BT’s board could confirm Jansen’s appointment within the next month, the news service stated.
Stoking the rumour mill, Worldpay last week announced Jansen would be leaving the company on 31 December.
The report stated the tens of millions of dollars in Worldpay share options which Jansen would likely have to relinquish by joining BT could be a possible obstacle, although a source said this would not be a problem provided he had free reign to mould the operator’s strategy.
Earlier this month Verizon group president Ronan Dunne was rumoured to have met with BT about the role, with Proximus chief Dominique Leroy also said to be in the running. Others include former EE chief Olaf Swantee and CEO of water company Severn Trent Liv Garfield.
Sky News reported BT chairman Jan du Plessis would prefer an executive from outside the telecoms industry to take the helm.
Jansen was reportedly also a potential candidate to become BT’s CEO in 2004 when he was running tour operator MyTravel.