'Reaction to recent results' forced Gavin Patterson's exit, says BT Chairman

- Leadership - Jun 08, 2018

The negative reaction to recent results and a shareholder backlash left the departure of BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson inevitable, according to Chairman Jan du Plessis.

In a statement on Friday, BT confirmed that Patterson's 14-year stint at its helm will come to an end later this year, with du Plessis already leading a recruitment process to find a replacement to steer the telco through its ambitious turnaround programme.

Shortly after announcing 13,000 job cuts in May, it was revealed that Patterson was paid £2.3mn last year, including a hefty bonus and a 1.5% basic salary rise. This, coupled with a shareholder revolt against Patterson's ability to oversee the transformational plan, has resulted in BT's board looking elsewhere.

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"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 almost five years that he has served as Chief Executive," said du Plessis.

"The Board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team. 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."

Patterson added: "It’s been an honour to lead BT since 2013, and serve as a member of the Board for the last 10 years. 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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