BT chairman Sir Iain Vallance is to step down. BT announced today that Sir Christopher Bland, currently chairman of the BBC, will take over.

"This will bring in a fresh brain and a fresh approach to the current situation facing BT," said BT's Roger Westbury, referring to the financial troubles the company is struggling with.

Although BT reported a net profit in February, the company is struggling with a debt load of £30bn.

Vallance's resignation has nothing to do with BT's current debt situation though, said Westbury. "The two things are not connected," he said, adding that Vallance "has been chairman since 1987 and for some time now he has felt it would be right to step down, and to [make way] for a suitable successor".

Vallance will end his chairmanship on 1 May, but he will remain as chairman emeritus. This means he will be available for support and advice to Bland and chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield, according to Westbury.