BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson Plans To Resign At Year-end

BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson Plans To Resign At Year-end

The Board expects to have his successor in place during second-half 2018, with Patterson continuing to serve as CEO until then. In his time, he has overseen a huge transformation of BT as it made a major expansion into television, principally with BT Sport which is now the exclusive home of the Champions League in the United Kingdom and has now expanded significantly its coverage of the Premier League.

Despite this, Mr Patterson managed to head off a threat to split BT's Openreach broadband division into a separate company.

In January last year, BT wrote down the value of its Italian unit by £530m after it said it had uncovered years of "inappropriate behaviour".

The move comes nearly a month after BT revealed plans to reduce its workforce by about 13,000 jobs over the next three years, with mainly back office and middle management roles set to be cut, with the telecommunications giant hoping to "drive sustainable long term growth in value for shareholders".

The company has been reeling from an accounting scandal in Italy past year and has spent billions on buying football rights to attract customers to its pay-TV channels.

But the subsequent decline in the share price showed investors were not on side. The decision to overhaul the company was made to cut costs and boost profits as BT invests in 5G technology.

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Jan du Plessis, former chairman of mining group Rio Tinto who took the same role at BT last November, said the board supported Patterson's strategy but it did not have confidence in his ability to see it through.

"The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has. demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy", he said.

Mr Patterson's departure will end a near-five year stint as chief executive, having been at BT for a total of 14 years.

"The new chief executive is expected to start later this year, and with the shares at a six-year low, steadying the ship will be their first task", said Khalaf.

"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", he said.

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