Economy

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

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.

BT chairman Jan du Plessis said that while Mr Patterson had the backing of the board, wider support was starting to wane.

"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", he said.

During his time at the helm, Patterson has overseen a number of changes in the business, not least its entrance into the TV market.

A former holder of Computer Weekly's Most Influential Person in UK IT title, Patterson has been with BT for nearly 15 years - 10 of them as a board member.

Patterson said the company was well placed for the future.

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Following the news of Mr Patterson's departure, BT's shares jumped 3% initially, before dropping back to trade at about 202p.

Patterson led BT as the company invested billions in football rights for its pay-TV channels and he was also in charge when the company acquired the mobile phone operator EE for £12.5 billion in 2016.

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 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.

The bad news continued when Ofcom fined BT a record 42 million pounds for service failures. The cost-cutting plans were announced alongside BT's full-year results which revealed a 1% drop in revenue to £23.7 billion. The first and most important is the share price.

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