Nick Speed appointed new BT public affairs director in Wales
Nick Speed has been announced as BT Group’s new public affairs director for Wales. He takes over from Alwen Williams, who left BT in January to work for digital network business Openreach.
Nick will lead BT Group's relationships with Welsh policy makers and will sit on BT’s board in Wales. He joins BT from energy company Centrica, where he has been head of public affairs for Wales since 2012. Before that, he worked as a journalist, including spells as political editor at both ITV Wales and the Western Mail.
Commenting on the new role, Nick Speed said: “I'm really looking forward to be taking up this role with BT. It’s a household name with a long history and an exciting future. BT Group is at the cutting edge of innovative technologies, with nearly 4,500 employees in Wales helping to develop and deliver a range of products and services.
“I look forward to start working with colleagues to find out how we can help make customers’ lives easier, deliver increasing benefits for businesses, and help Wales develop as a world class, digital nation.”
Welcoming the appointment, Jane Wood, BT Group director of UK nations and regions, said: “I look forward to working with Nick when he joins the business. His knowledge of government and policy-making in Wales will be a huge asset to the company.
“BT Group contributes more than £900m to the Welsh economy and plays an important role in the lives of everyone living and working in Wales, from handling 999 calls, to connecting communities. I know that Nick will build on our existing relationships, helping to lead and shape the public policy debate on improved digital services in Wales.”
- Nick Speed will start in the role on 1 July.
- Nick first came to live in Cardiff to study for a postgraduate diploma in journalism after growing up in Derbyshire and graduating from Durham University. A Welsh speaker, Nick committed to learning Welsh on returning to Wales from London in 2004 and was Learner of the Year in 2012 at Cardiff University’s Welsh for Adults Centre.
- Nick is a member of the CBI Wales Council and a member of the Advisory Panel to the Welsh Language Commissioner. He is also a school governor at Ysgol Bro Edern in Cardiff and is on the advisory panel to the youth homelessness prevention charity Llamau.
- 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.
The BT board in Wales brings together senior staff working across the business in the country. The new Wales board – launched in 2019 – is chaired by Samantha Toombs, Director of Local Government and Health for BT in Wales. Other members of the 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.