BT appoints new public sector director in Wales
Samantha Toombs will lead BT’s local government and health business in Wales as part of an increased investment in the nation, as well as chairing the BT Group board in Wales.
Working as public sector director in BT’s Enterprise division in Wales, Samantha’s focus will be on building relationships and driving business with local authorities, health boards, universities and colleges, emergency services and other public sector organisations.
As chair of the BT Group board in Wales – which brings together senior leaders from across BT’s business – her focus, and that of the board, will be on supporting BT’s customers and helping the country become one of the most digitally connected nations. She is the first woman to chair the BT board in Wales.
Samantha said that, in her role as director of public sector, she wants to highlight how using the latest technology across our public services can help transform and improve the lives of Welsh citizens.
Commenting on the role, she said: “I'm looking forward to working with colleagues to help us become a digital nation. There are big and exciting technological developments taking place at the moment, and it's vital that Wales is ready to adapt and take advantage of these changes.
“The internet and technology have changed the way we now live and work. The number of devices connected to the internet, in our homes and workplaces, has increased massively in recent years, and this is set to rise further. While this change will present challenges for businesses and public bodies in Wales, it will also offer opportunities. Using the latest digital technology will allow people in the public sector to work more efficiently, and help them to protect and improve the lives of Welsh citizens.
“BT is at the forefront of developing cutting edge technologies to meet future digital citizen demands and services. I'm proud that many of these technologies are being developed and implemented in Wales. With a large presence in all corners of Wales and one of the nation’s largest private sector employers and investors, BT Group now directly employs 4,400 people in Wales and spends £300m with Welsh suppliers.”
Samantha is also BT’s director for public sector in South West England and chair of the region’s board.
A new director of public affairs, Wales, and member of the BT Board in Wales, will be announced in the coming months.
Since leaving Glamorgan University (now University of South Wales), Samantha has worked in client facing roles for a number of large, digital transformation companies including Fujitsu, Logica, CGI and Atos. Having travelled with her work for a number of years – working in locations including London, Birmingham, Germany and Prague – she returned to work in Wales three years ago. Sam has always lived in south Wales and now lives in Aberavon, Port Talbot.
Across Wales in 2017/18, BT Group:
- Directly employed a total of 4,400 people (FTE, including contractors) and supported an estimated 11,600 full-time jobs
- Spent £300 million with suppliers based in Wales
- Generated £900 million total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)
- Directly employed 1 in every 180 employees in the private sector across Wales, and 1 in every 10 in the IT and Communications sectors
- Supported £1 in every £70 of GVA in the Welsh economy and 1 in every 70 employees working in the nation’s private sector.
Members of the new Wales BT board include:
- Allison McCarthy, Head of Contact Centre Operations (Merthyr), Consumer
- Lynne Toogood, 4G and 5G Mobile Deployment Director, Technology
- Sandra Sexton, Senior Apprenticeship Programme Manager, Group
- Susi Marston, (Board Secretary), Senior Marketing Manager, Enterprise
- Gareth Hopkins , Client Services Director, UK Public Sector, Enterprise
- Ben Koscian, Head of Test, Trials & Trading Deployment, Consumer
- Jeremy Smitham, Customer Operations Performance, Enterprise
Since 2017, Openreach is a separate legal entity from BT, with its own independent board. For more information on Openreach's work, visit www.openreach.co.uk