Aug 20, 2018

BT shareholders call on next boss to consider split

Some of BT's biggest shareholders have called on the telecoms company's next chief executive to consider a break-up of the business to create value. BT is hunting for a replacement for Gavin Patterson, the chief executive for the past five years, who was sacked in June but remains in place until a replacement is appointed. The overhaul was designed to improve its financial performance, with shares having almost halved in the past two years, and the chairman has said that a new chief executive will need to inherit the strategy - arguing that shareholders had backed the plan. BT considered a voluntarily split a decade ago to better realise the value of Openreach, which could be valued as an infrastructure company not a telecoms business, but ruled it out. A number of candidates have been linked with the BT role including Liv Garfield, the chief executive of Severn Trent who used to run Openreach, and Olaf Swantee, the Sunrise chief executive who was the head of EE when it was sold to BT. Stephen Carter, chief executive of Informa and the former Ofcom head, has been approached, according to a Sky News report last week.

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