Jan du Plessis will succeed Sir Mike Rake as Chairman of BT on 1 November, the UK-based operator has announced.
The current Chairman of mining and metals group Rio Tinto will join the telco as a non-executive director on 1 June.
du Plessis, who has been at Rio Tinto since 2008, is the former Chairman of SABMiller, Group Finance Director of Richemont and Chairman of British American Tobacco.
Nick Rose who, as BT’s Senior Independent Director, led the recruitment process, said the 63 year-old British and South African national was “the unanimous choice of the Board”.
Jan du Plessis said: “I am honoured to have been asked to become BT’s Chairman.
“BT is a great British company with excellent people and Mike has done an outstanding job as Chairman over the last 10 years.
“This is an important time for the company and I look forward to working with Gavin and his team to help BT continue to support Britain’s digital future.”
Rake takes his leave as underlying revenues and EBITDA fell in the three months to December, its most recent financial results, following a scandal at its enterprise focused Italian opco.
He said: "Over the past 10 years, BT has made huge progress and we have transformed and expanded the business.
“Whilst clearly there are continuing challenges, the performance of the company remains on track.”