When the CEO Moves On

What I didn’t mention in my last post on the launch of Net Good was that the very morning after the main launch event, our CEO Ian Livingston and Net Good keynote speaker, announced that he was leaving BT.

I am sure all sustainability practitioners can imagine what a wonderful feeling it is to have a video of the CEO saying “it is no longer enough for companies to do less bad with regards to the environment. They now need to do net good.”    Worth its weight in conflict free diamonds for employee engagement, for business motivation and for building external stakeholder momentum.   You can see  highlights of the speech here and the full speech here.

After a brief initial disappointment that the CEO championing my programme had just announced his departure I soon realised this was an excellent outcome in every way.  The now titled Lord Ian Livingston of Parkhead will leave BT in September to become Minister of State for Trade and Investment. He has a seat and and a vote in the House of Lords. I am confident that the time invested in sustainability will serve him well and be leveraged even more in his new government role.

Our incoming CEO, Gavin Patterson has served as chief executive of BT Retail and as a BT Board member since 2008, having joined the company as a senior executive four years prior to that.   He is also the pan-BT executive sponsor for our Better Future programme with a great understanding of its importance to the business.

What a great outcome for the CEO to announce Net Good and then become a government minister. What a great outcome for the executive sponsor of Better Future to become the incoming CEO.    Both are testament and further contribution to the growing recognition of the importance of companies’ impacts on society and the environment.


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