BT chief Gavin Patterson to step down

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to leave at end of year

Gavin Patterson, BT CEO, is leaving after five years in the post.

The move comes just weeks after Patterson announced a major restructuring plan which would see BT move out of its London HQ after 150 after three years and 13,000 employees, or around 13 per cent of BT's global workforce, axed over the next three years in a bid to cut costs amid tumbling revenues.

Analysts at UBS said the fact that the board supported the strategy suggested no significant strategic changes. Analysts say Patterson shouldered the blame.

There are a few reasons why some shareholders have been agitating for a change at the top. That is the kind of underperformance that would test even the most patient fund manager. Declining earnings, a prolonged dispute with the telecom regulator over broadband rates, network coverage and control, as well as an accounting scandal in Italy kept piling on hurdles, until the executive's time was up.

BT chairman Jan du Plessis said that while the board was generally supportive of the new strategy set out by Patterson and his team in May, given the reaction to it, both he and Patterson had now agreed only a leadership change could actually deliver on these plans.

Mr Patterson became managing director of BT's consumer division in 2004.

Patterson, who has led BT since 2013, announced plans last month to cut 13,000 jobs as part of a restructuring created to simplify the group's management structure.

But the admission that fraud had left a 530-million pound black hole in its Italian business, combined with sharp slowdown in demand from public sector and corporate customers, forced the 50-year-old executive to cut profit targets in 2017.

"BT is a great business and with the new management team I've recently put in place, is I believe very well positioned to thrive in the future".

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