Former Airtel CIO to lead new BT Digital unit

A new digital-focused tech unit to be launched by BT on April 1st will be headed up by former Bharti Airtel Group CIO Harmeen Mehta who joins BT as Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, reporting to CEO Philip Jansen. 

The new Digital unit will include accountability for IT, digital innovation, BT-wide business transformation and data and product strategy. 

Mehta brings 24 years experience in leading digital, engineering, IT and innovation transformation, including CIO positions at BBVA, HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Jansen said: “The creation of BT Digital will enable us to focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact, delivering digital platforms and embracing new technologies such as AI and machine learning. 

"This is bigger than just BT, it’s about building partnerships with other leading innovators to expand into new areas, including enhanced converged fixed and mobile services, tools that guard against cyber attacks, and connected care applications to help families look after elderly or vulnerable loved ones even if they’re geographically remote. 

"These changes will help us take these ideas to market fast and at scale, accelerating our digital and business transformation programmes already underway.” 

Mehta, who joins BT on 1st March, stated: “There has never been a more interesting time to play such a meaningful role in the lives of our customers.”

Other leadership changes see Howard Watson become Chief Technology Officer, leading the team accountable for network strategy, networks transformation and service platforms, as well as retaining accountability for cyber and information security. 

BT also announced a non-executive Technology Advisory Board (TAB) made up of industry experts who will meeting three times a year.

Mike Sherman, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, has exited the business. Responsibility for corporate strategy moves to Simon Lowth, Chief Financial Officer. 

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