BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson Plans To Resign At Year-end

BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson Plans To Resign At Year-end

BT Group chief executive Gavin Patterson will step down at the end of the year, with a search now underway to find his successor.

The company said a poor reaction to its latest results, in which BT set out plans to cut 13,000 jobs, had prompted the move.

Mr Patterson has been under pressure from investors to improve the company's stock performance, which has nearly halved over the last two years.

Jan Du Plessis, chairman, said the board was "fully supportive" of Patterson's strategy but added that the "borader reaction" to the recent results announcement demonstrated that there is a need of leadership to deliver the strategy.

Analysts at Bernstein said it was no secret that Patterson was under enormous pressure, but added that the timing of the announcement was "highly puzzling and worrying". Analysts say Patterson shouldered the blame.

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Patterson has been with the United Kingdom incumbent telco for 14 years, serving as a member of the Board for the last ten. Throughout that time 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. This was offset partly by hiring 6,000 new employees - including 3,500 engineers - to help implement BT's 3.7 billion pound investment in its 5G mobile services. He had missed out on a bonus in the previous year after a number of setbacks. He rose to the position of CEO of BT Retail before becoming group CEO in 2013, after his predecessor Ian Livingston left to become a government minister.

He will continue in his role until the new boss is named.

Under increasing pressure, Patterson announced a radical plan to cut job and save 1.5 billion pounds a year by 2020/21 last month. The first and most important is the share price.

"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.

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