BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

BT chairman Jan du Plessis said that while the board was generally supportive of the new strategy set out by Patterson and his team in May, given the reaction to it, both he and Patterson had now agreed only a leadership change could actually deliver on these plans.

BT announced a restructuring of the business where 13,000 jobs will be cut in a bid to £1.5 billion over the next three years with restructuring costs at £800 million.

BT said in a statement on Friday that it has already started the search for his replacement, noting that Patterson will remain in charge of the company until a successor is found.

Despite this, Mr Patterson managed to head off a threat to split BT's Openreach broadband division into a separate company. However, it's been a different story over the last two years. That led to Mr Patterson losing most of his bonus for 2017.

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".

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.

Investors in BT Group Plc watched their investments shrink about 60 percent and decided it was enough.

"I've been immensely proud of what we've achieved, in particular the transformation of the business in recent years with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE, and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach", he said, adding it was an honour to lead the company.

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