BT 21CN chief resigns

Paul Reynolds is to leave the telco after 24 years, having led the creation of the £10bn 21st Century Network

The chief executive who created BT's £10bn national network has resigned.

Dr Paul Reynolds, one of the key business leaders behind the network, 21CN, will leave BT in September. He is to become the chief executive of Telecom New Zealand, the incumbent Kiwi telecoms operator.

Reynolds will not be forgotten quickly. At six foot seven inches, the amiable Scot boasts a considerable presence in the boardroom and across the industry.

He has worked at BT — his only employer since graduating from university — since 1983. He became chief executive of BT Wholesale seven years ago.

Aside from helping to create 21CN, Reynolds has overseen the rollout of broadband across the UK, and the creation of the much-criticised Openreach, which runs the final mile of BT's telecoms network.

Prior to that, he helped to create Concert, the joint venture between BT and US telco AT&T, which was withdrawn from the market in 2001 after it made annual losses of nearly £500m.

Reynolds moved away from heading up 21CN when BT revealed its latest restructuring in April. The installation programme will now be overseen by Andy Green, BT's chief executive of group strategy and operations, and Matt Bross, chief technology officer.

21CN has already been delayed, and BT says it will not be complete until 2011.

No replacement for Reynolds has been announced.