Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

BT Group's Chief Executive Gavin Patterson will step down later this year after the British telecoms company's chairman said a change in leadership was needed.

The telecoms giant expects to have its next chief executive in place by the second half of the year, with Patterson continuing to serve as chief executive until then.

Mr Patterson has been under pressure from investors to improve the company's stock performance, which has nearly halved over the last two years. BT shares plummeted after it was announced, and are now trading near a six-year low. It was also badly damaged by an accounting scandal in its Italian arm a year ago.

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.

BT chairman Jan du Plessis said: "The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team".

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BT (BT) shares spiked following the announcement.

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.

The plan would save the former United Kingdom telecommunications monopoly an estimated £1.5 billion ($2 billion) over three years. He had missed out on a bonus in the previous year after a number of setbacks.

The UK group said in a statement on Friday that Gavin Patterson would leave his job later this year.

Analysts at UBS said the fact that the board supported the strategy suggested no significant strategic changes. It would cost £800 million ($1.1 billion) to implement.

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