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Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

BT Group boss Gavin Patterson to step down

BT Group boss Gavin Patterson to step down

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.

BT announced last month that it is to axe 13,000 jobs over the next three years, 12 per cent of its global workforce.

But a failure to hit a revenue target and a forecast for flat profits for the next couple of years sent its shares down to near six-year lows. That led to Mr Patterson losing most of his bonus for 2017.

The process to appoint a successor is already underway with BT confident it will be in a position to announce a replacement over the coming months as it readies for a period of significant change.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com, said: "The expensive move into football rights was a mistake and evidence that management lacked focus under Patterson".

But the subsequent decline in the share price showed investors were not on side.

"The Board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team".

The restructuring plan announced last month was meant to cut costs, improve profits and release cash to invest in 5G.

"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.

Patterson became managing director of BT's consumer division in 2004, prior to that he had been in charge of the nascent TV operation.

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.

He managed to avoid a full break-up of the group by agreeing to legally separate Openreach, but he admitted he had been taken aback by the flak BT had received about its customer service and its networks during the bitter two-year battle.

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