Patterson out at BT

Jun 11, 2018, 07:39
Patterson out at BT

British telecommunications company BT Group says its CEO, Gavin Patterson, will step down this year amid shareholder discontent about the lagging share price.

The former state telecoms monopoly said Mr Patterson would stay in the role until a successor is appointed, expected to be some time in the second half of the year.

The company has been dealing with the aftermath of an accounting scandal at its Italian division, which resulted in a £530 million write-down and a major fall in its share price previous year.

The changeover comes just a month after BT announced plans to axe around 13,000 jobs and exit its BT headquarters in central London as part of a revamped cost-cutting drive meant to help save around £1.5 billion.

"The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has, though, demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy".

The BT board says it is convinced this is still the right direction to take, but it wants someone else to take charge.

Jan du Plessis, Chairman of BT said: "Gavin has been with BT for just over 14 years and I want to thank him for his contribution to our business during that time, in particular during the nearly five years that he has served as Chief Executive".

Patterson received a total of 2.3 million pounds ($3.1 million) in the year to the end of March, according to the company's annual report - basic pay of 997,000 pounds plus a 1.292 million pound bonus.

Investors in BT Group Plc watched their investments shrink about 60 percent and decided it was enough.

The bad news continued when Ofcom fined BT a record 42 million pounds for service failures.

The plan would save the former United Kingdom telecommunications monopoly an estimated £1.5 billion ($2 billion) over three years.

"I am confident that, for the remainder of his term, Gavin and his senior management team will continue to display the energy required to deal with every dimension of the task at hand", he said.

However, the company is also set to hire 6,000 new engineers and front line customer service staff to support its roll out of fibre and 5G networks.

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