Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Patterson's BT Tenure Ends After Regulator Fight, Stock's Tumble

Patterson's BT Tenure Ends After Regulator Fight, Stock's Tumble

BT CHIEF EXECUTIVE Gavin Patterson is to leave the telecoms giant following a negative reaction to his recent cost-cutting plans to axe 13,000 jobs at the company.

BT Chairman Jan du Plessis said the Board was fully supportive of the recent strategy laid by out by Patterson, but said the reaction to recent announcements showed there was need for a change in leadership to deliver this strategy.

But the company has faced criticism for its handling of Britain's broadband infrastructure and its shares have lost more than half their value in the last two years.

BT shares, which have lost almost 40 percent of their value since Patterson took over, rose more than 2 percent in early trading, before giving up some of the gains by 1030 GMT.

The search for Patterson's successor is now underway, the company added.

Mr Patterson has been at BT for 14 years, 10 of those as a board member.

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He was "immensely proud" of what had been achieved at the former telecoms monopoly, in sports broadcasting, mobile and a hard-won agreement with the regulator to keep hold of its networks business Openreach.

Patterson received a total of 2.3 million pounds ($3.1 million) in the year to the end of March, according to the company's annual report - basic pay of 997,000 pounds plus a 1.292 million pound bonus.

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

When you devise a strategy which has the "full support" of the board then you expect that you will be around to execute it. Gavin Patterson's departure is unusual in the sense that the board liked his plan, but didn't think he was the person to carry it out.

The plan would save the former United Kingdom telecommunications monopoly an estimated £1.5 billion ($2 billion) over three years.

As well as its financial performance BT has been consistently criticised for its service level in broadband and overall customer service.

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