Jan du Plessis

Jan Petrus du Plessis (born 22 January 1954[1]) is an Afrikaner businessman. He is non-executive chairman of BT Group,[2] and the former non-executive Chairman of Rio Tinto Group plc,[3] and a former non-executive director of the Lloyds TSB Group.[4] Du Plessis was placed tenth in The Times 2006 Power 100,[5] a list which rates the most powerful people in British business.

Jan Petrus Du Plessis
Jan du Plessis

(1954-01-22) 22 January 1954 (age 67)
South Africa
NationalitySouth African/British
Alma materUniversity of Stellenbosch
Years active1975–present
TitleChairman of BT Group

Early and personal lifeEdit

Du Plessis, an Afrikaner,[6] grew up near Cape Town, South Africa.[3] He studied at the University of Stellenbosch for degrees in commerce and law, and is also qualified as a chartered accountant in his home country.[3] He has dual British and South African citizenship and lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife.[1] Although he was once a prominent figure in the tobacco industry, du Plessis has never smoked.[1]


Du Plessis worked in various management positions in the South African Rembrandt Group from 1981, and in 1988 he became Group Finance Director of Compagnie Financière Richemont.[3] He also held the same position at tobacco manufacturer Rothmans International between 1990 and 1995.[4] When Rothmans International was merged with British American Tobacco in 1999, du Plessis became a non-executive director on that board.[5]

In April 2004, du Plessis left his position at Richemont to take on the role of non-executive chairman at British American Tobacco.[7] In June 2005, he was appointed non-executive chairman of the UK food business RHM.[3] In October of the same year, du Plessis joined the board of directors at the Lloyds TSB Group as a non-executive director.[8]

Du Plessis is also a member of the governing body of the International Chamber of Commerce UK.[9]

In March 2009 it was announced that he would be the new chairman of mining group Rio Tinto.[10] In 2014 he was appointed to the board of SAB Miller and July 2015 took over as the chairman.[11]

On 9 March 2017, BT announced that du Plessis would be taking over as chairman from November 2017.

On 1 March, 2021, Du Plessis announced he is to retire.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Interview, Smoking Special Report, Simon Bowers, The Guardian, 11 June 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  2. ^ The Times Power 100: Do you Know who Really Runs Britain's Boardrooms?, PR News, 7 November 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e Board of Directors, British American Tobacco. Updated January 2007, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b Directors Archived 24 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Lloyds TSB Group Information. Retrieved 28 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b The Times Power 100 (du Plessis at position 10). The Times, November 2006, retrieved 28 March .
  6. ^ The new elite, review of Who Runs This Place?, The Observer, 28 March 2004, retrieved 28 March 2007
  7. ^ Jan du Plessis appointed Chairman of British American Tobacco, Richemont press statement, 10 November 2003, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  8. ^ Lloyds TSB Group appoints new non-executive director Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, Lloyds TSB Group press statement, 21 September 2005, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  9. ^ Members Of The Governing Body Archived 2006-12-03 at the Wayback Machine, ICC United Kingdom, retrieved 28 March 2007.
  10. ^ "Rio Tinto names Jan du Plessis as chairman". 17 March 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2018 – via Reuters.
  11. ^ "SABMiller appoints non-executive director/chairman designate - Drinks International - The global choice for drinks buyers". www.drinksint.com. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  12. ^ "BT Group Chairman Jan du Plessis Plans to Retire This Year". Bloomberg.com. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 1 March 2021.