BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

  • BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

Shareholder confidence has followed the share price down, and with BT embarking on a crucial restructure, the board has decided it's time for a change. The company said he would "not now be receiving the 2018 incentive share plan award", which was set out in the latest annual report.

Following the news of Mr Patterson's departure, BT's shares jumped 3% initially, before dropping back to trade at about 202p.

Deutsche Telekom, BT's largest shareholder with a 12 per cent stake, has grown increasingly dissatisfied with Mr Patterson's performance over the past year, partly because of blunders like an accounting scandal in Italy, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Patterson said: "I've been immensely proud of what we've achieved, in particular the transformation of the business in recent years with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE, and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach". However, it's been a different story over the last two years, ' he said.

In spite of overseeing a disgusting year for BT, the company revealed Patterson was paid £2.3mln last year, including a £1.3mln bonus and a 1.5% rise in his basic salary. The first and most important is the share price.

The second strike against Mr Patterson was his relationship with Ofcom. Finally, although the board gave his plan their support - many investors felt it was nowhere near bold enough to correct years of (ultimately fatal) underperformance. As part of a three-year plan aimed at reversing the firm's downward spiral and to save 1.5 billion pounds, BT planned cut 13,000 managerial and administrative jobs.

"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", he said.

Patterson became managing director of BT's consumer division in 2004, prior to that he had been in charge of the nascent TV operation. He was appointed chief executive of the BT Group in 2013.

A former holder of Computer Weekly's Most Influential Person in UK IT title, Patterson has been with BT for nearly 15 years - 10 of them as a board member.