Jun 4, 2018

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson faces shareholder backlash

Investor support for BT chief executive Gavin Patterson is crumbling with big shareholders warning they are running out of patience as the telecom group's shares languish at a six-year low following a string of damaging setbacks. Shareholders have called for meetings with BT chair Jan du Plessis to discuss Mr Patterson's future, voicing doubts over whether he is the right person to lead the business as it undergoes an ambitious restructuring. Last month, Mr Patterson unveiled a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs, improving profits and freeing up more cash to invest in 5G and full fibre networks. The overhaul is the biggest in a decade at BT. Mr Patterson has pursued a growth strategy based on BT's re-entry into the mobile market and a push into pay-TV and sports broadcasting. Another large shareholder said he was unsure about Mr Patterson's ability to lead BT's hoped for revival, adding the executive was in "Last chance" territory.

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