Telecommunications

BT chief executive Philip Jansen tests positive for coronavirus

BT’s chief executive, Philip Jansen, has tested positive for coronavirus.

The telecoms firm said Jansen had been tested late on Thursday afternoon and was following Public Health England protocols to self-isolate.

It is the first publicly confirmed case of a FTSE 100 boss being diagnosed with Covid-19 and the 53-year-old has notified other figures from the industry he met this week.

The chief executive is planning to work remotely but said there would be no disruption to the business.

“Having felt slightly unwell, I decided as a precaution to be tested. As soon as the test results were known I isolated myself at home,” Jansen said in a statement.

“I’ve met several industry partners this week, so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could.

“Given my symptoms seem relatively mild, I will continue to lead BT but work with my team remotely over the coming week. There will be no disruption to the business.”

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BT is undertaking a full deep clean of certain parts of the group’s London headquarters and gave assurances that employees who were in contact with Jansen would be “appropriately advised”.

Jansen’s diagnosis came on the same day that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, advised that all people with a fever or a new, persistent cough should stay at home for seven days.

The government’s chief scientific adviser said the number of cases was likely to be much higher than official figures suggested and could mean between 5,000 and 10,000 people had so far caught the virus in the UK.